Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Iran warns Saudi Arabia against sending troops to Syria

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Saudi Arabia on Tuesday not to deploy troops in Syria, saying it would violate international law, while also demanding that Riyadh stop its bombardments in Yemen.
Zarif, whose country supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, was questioned about Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it could deploy ground forces as part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS).
“Those who are operating in Syria without the authority of the sovereign government in Syria are violating international law,” he told a news conference at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Speaking later after a meeting with his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders, Zarif added: “We believe that’s dangerous… I believe everybody should put forces together to find a peaceful solution, not to create more danger and more hostility in the region.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said after talks in Washington earlier this month that any operation would be US-led but that Saudi Arabia would play a leading role. (READ MORE)
Back story: 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called "Northern Thunder". This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria.