Saudi Arabia has deployed warplanes to a Turkish airbase in order to ‘intensify’ its operations against the Islamic State group in Syria, a senior Saudi defence official has said.
“The Saudi kingdom now has a presence at Incirlik airbase in Turkey,” Brigadier General Ahmed al Assiri was quoted as saying by Al Arabiya television late Saturday. “Saudi warplanes are present with their crews to intensify aerial operations along with missions launched from bases in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
According to Assiri, the decision followed a meeting in Brussels of the US-led coalition. He added that a ground operation was being planned.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir also told reporters on Sunday that his country was ready to send special forces to Syria to take part in ground operations against IS, without giving further details.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2016.