The general's remarks came in response to Turkey and Saudi Arabia's stated readiness to take part in a ground operation in Syria, if the US-led coalition decides to launch one. This operation will have to be conducted according to a detailed plan, which should necessarily include the exact number of troops set for deployment and the types of weapons that are slated to be used in the operation, he added.
The general placed particular emphasis on the training prior to launching the campaign. Training "takes time – at least six months. It should involve ground forces, military airpower, probably, even naval forces."
However, military plans and exercises could prove to be insufficient when the Saudis ultimately decide to send conventional troops or special operations forces to Syria, since the oil kingdom is already leading a prolonged war in Yemen.
Both countries claim that they are driven by a desire to defeat Daesh, but they have long supported terrorist groups trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad and have made every effort to remove him from power. Many experts agree that the Syrian leader will most likely be the main if not the only target of the possible campaign.
"Given that the Saudis and their allies in the newly formed Islamic Coalition are conducting massive joint operational military exercises – codenamed Northern Thunder – in preparation for very possible military interventions in the near future, it's clear that the Kingdom-led multinational coalition will not stop at [Daesh]," political analyst Nawaf Obaid asserted. "Rather, its ultimate objective in Syria is to take on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Iran-created Shia militias."