KSA: Ground forces ‘a must’ to crush IS

KSA: Ground forces ‘a must’ to crush IS
Updated 05 December 2014

KSA: Ground forces ‘a must’ to crush IS

KSA: Ground forces ‘a must’ to crush IS

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday called for the deployment of ground forces to crush Islamic State (IS) militants. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal made the call while addressing a meeting of the anti-IS coalition in Brussels.
He said the war on terrorism would be a long-term effort. “In order to make our campaign against IS successful we need combat forces on the ground,” he said and advised the coalition to use moderate opposition forces including the Free Syrian Army, to confront the IS in Syria.
Prince Saud also stressed the need to train and unify Iraqi forces so that they could effectively tackle the IS.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told the meeting, comprising officials from 60 Western and Arab states, that the coalition had launched 1,000 strikes that have had a “significant” impact on IS.
“Our commitment will most likely be measured in years,” he told the meeting at NATO’s headquarters in the Belgian capital, adding that the partners would “engage in this campaign for as long as it takes to prevail.”
Prince Saud reiterated Saudi efforts to combat global terrorism. “We hosted a ministerial meeting of 11 countries that resulted in the formation of this coalition,” the prince said about the Jeddah meet on Sept. 11 this year.
The coalition later issued a closing statement saying that the militant group’s “advance across Syria and into Iraq is being halted,” and that Iraqi and Kurdish forces were reclaiming territory.
They also agreed at the Brussels meeting to develop a “multifaceted” strategy to combat IS, including stopping the flow of foreign fighters, cutting finance, and “delegitimizing” its powerful, social media-driven branding.
The US has carried out most of the strikes against the group, which consists of an estimated 30,000 militants. The coalition forces have accused them of various atrocities including rape, crucifixion and the beheading of Western hostages.
The fight against IS has distracted from Western efforts to end Syria’s brutal civil war, which has resulted in the death of more than 195,000 people since it began as an anti-Assad revolt in 2011.