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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Muslim Alliance May Deploy Troops Against IS

18:03, UK, Tuesday 15 December 2015
Members of Saudi special forces take part in a parade for a graduation ceremony held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia says a coalition of 34 Islamic nations has not ruled out providing ground forces in the fight against Islamic State.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said the alliance would share intelligence and train, equip and provide forces if necessary.
"Nothing is off the table," he said, when asked if the action would provide troops on the ground, though it is unclear exactly how the coalition will work.
"It depends on the requests that come, it depends on the need and it depends on the willingness of countries to provide the support necessary," he said.
The minister said there was "no limit in terms of where the assistance would be provided, or to whom it would be provided", and that requests for assistance from members would be dealt with on a "case-by-case basis".
Sky's Sam Kiley Explains Which Nations Are Forming An Anti-Terror Coalition
He added "discussions" were ongoing about sending some special forces into Syria as part of the US-led efforts to fight IS.
Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and several Gulf Arab and African states make up the coalition, a joint statement said.
Published on state news agency SPA, it said: "The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations."
The announcement said there was "a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organisations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorise the innocent."
Kurd fighters
Iran, a mainly Shia Islam country, Iraq and Syria were absent from the list.
Iran is Sunni Saudi Arabia's rival for influence in the Arab world and has been accused of backing one of the groups involved in fighting in Yemen, a conflict that also involves Saudi Arabia.
A different Saudi-led coalition that is supporting Yemen's internationally recognised government said on Monday night a planned truce with the country's Shia rebels had been postponed for 12 hours.
Residents arrive on foot to inspect their homes, after the cessation of fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Syria's President Assad, in Homs city
Saudi Arabia's defence minister said the coalition would not just confront Islamic State, but "any terrorist group in front of us".
He added the coalition would coordinate with major world powers and international organisations.
There was no initial word from any of the other countries involved.
The US has been keen to see Gulf Arab states doing more to aid the military campaign against Islamic State.
map of yemen and saudia arbia and iran
IS has threatened to overthrow the monarchies of the Gulf and has attacked security forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Syrian President Bashar al Assad remains opposed to negotiating with groups he sees as terrorists, but there are hopes Russia may force him to make concessions. 
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Moscow for talks with his opposite number Sergei Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to extract from them an agreement that while Mr Assad should probably go, much of his regime could be preserved.
Black flag belonging to the Islamic State is seen near the Syrian town of Kobani, as pictured from the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province
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