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Ex-NATO Chief Calls on Gulf States to Put Boots on the Ground in Syria

The Western nations should not engage in a ground operation in Syria. Instead, the Gulf States should come forward and put boots on the ground in the war-torn Arab country, NATO’s former Secretary General Xavier Solana said in a radio interview on Thursday.

"The Sunni countries of the region should send their military contingents to Syria before the European countries move in,” Solana told Onda Cero, Spain’s number two radio station.

"Just as the international coalition decides to attack Islamic State, Saudi Arabia prefers to bomb Yemen. Why Yemen? Because in Yemen the Saudis are fighting Iran, the Shiites. Turkey makes its military base available to the Americans and says it is fully behind Washington’s campaign against ISIL, but, simultaneously it starts bombing the Kurds. This means that the Sunnis have no desire to fight ISIL, and if it is so, then destroying ISIL is almost a mission impossible," Solana noted.

Smoke rises in the distance behind an Islamic State (IS) group flag and banner after Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters reportedly captured several villages from IS group jihadists in the district of Daquq, south of the northern Iraqi multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk on September 11, 2015 - Sputnik International
Iran, Saudi Arabia Must Be Pressed to Collaborate Against ISIL- Solana
Xavier Solana, who once served as the EU’s foreign policy chief and Spain’s foreign minister, also said that deploying a Spanish military contingent in Syria was a bad idea and urged Madrid to refrain from bombing the terrorists’ positions in Syria.

He welcomed the ongoing negotiations in Vienna which include, among others, the Sunni and Shiite countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran.

“If Iran and Saudi Arabia reach agreement this would make the situation much better,” Solana added.

He also said that the creation of a united coalition with Russia would be “good news,” and that a comprehensive ceasefire, a provisional government, a new constitution and free elections held the key to a long-lasting settlement in Syria.

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