Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: US lauds Saudi offer of troops in Syria

Press TV. Listen here:

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon January 28, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. (AFP)

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter hails Saudi Arabia’s offer of troop deployment to war-weary Syria, commending Riyadh’s willingness to ‘combat’ Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.

Carter welcomed on Thursday the Saudi offer to participate in any ground operations in Syria, launched by the so-called US-led coalition there.

He said increased activity by other countries would make it easier for the United States to accelerate its fight against ISIL.

“That kind of news is very welcome,” he told reporters while on a visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The so-called US-led coalition against Daesh has been carrying out airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014, but it is accused of lacking seriousness in its campaign.

Damascus accuses Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar of funding and arming anti-Syria terrorist groups including Daesh.

The Pentagon chief said he looked forward to discussing the offer with the Saudi defense minister in Belgium next week.

Carter said he planned to use next week’s meetings in Brussels to help encourage more broad-based support for the fight.

Now Keith Preston, chief editor and director of, has called such new coalition “farcical,” saying the terror group stems from the Saudis’ own Wahhabism and radical principles.

“The Americans obviously are going to welcome this because what they want to do is to use the Saudi army as a proxy army in this process,” Preston told Press TV on Friday.

But the main thing the Americans seek to do is to eliminate regimes that are non-aligned with US policies, the analyst added.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon chief said the United States was also watching events in Libya very carefully but had made no decision on expanding its role there.

“The concern there is that Libya not get on a glide slope to the kind of situation that we find elsewhere, where (ISIL), in a politically disrupted environment, seizes a foothold, gathers a piece of territory from which it is able to tyrannize people, and plot operations elsewhere,” Carter said.

ISIL forces recently attacked Libya’s oil infrastructure and established a foothold in the city of Sirte, exploiting a power vacuum in the country where two rival governments have been battling for supremacy.

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