[This is incredibly provocative and its very clear that the U.S. is behind this move. Now it will be Putin's turn as this escalation is happening in a step-wise manner]
US confirms Emirates will send troops to train and enable locals to defeat Islamic State, but Moscow says foreign boots on ground will spark ‘permanent war’.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter says a key Persian Gulf ally has agreed to send special forces soldiers to Syria to assist in the development of local Sunni Arab fighters focused on recapturing Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s capital.
Carter made the comment after meeting Friday at his Brussels hotel with his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates.
Carter declined to say how many Emirati special forces would go to Syria. He said they would be part of an effort led by the United States and bolstered by Saudi special forces to train and enable local Arab fighters who are motivated to recapture Raqqa.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned other nations against committing their troops to a ground action in Syria, saying it would only exacerbate the conflict.
Medvedev, speaking in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, the text of which was released by his office Friday, said “a ground operation draws everyone taking part in it into a war.”
Commenting on a Saudi proposal to send troops to Syria and the possibility of US involvement in ground action, Medvedev said there wouldn’t be a quick victory, rather a “permanent war.”
He reaffirmed that Russia, which has conducted an air campaign in Syria since September 30 to back Syrian President Bashar Assad, has no intention to engage in ground action.
Diplomats meeting in Munich, Germany fell short early Friday in organizing a truce in the Syrian civil war but agreed to try to work out details and implement a temporary “cessation of hostilities” in a week’s time.