Relaymedia

Syria: Another 'World War' Draws Near If Foreign Ground Troops Sent In, Russian Prime Minister Declares

( [email protected] ) Feb 13, 2016 07:58 AM EST
On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned the deployment of foreign ground troops in the war-torn Syria could result in a "new world war". This threat comes after the collapse of the latest round of peace talks to end the long-running civil war in the country.
Saudi Arabia Willing to Send Ground Troops to Syria to Fight Islamic State. Reuters/Faisal al-Nasser

On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned the deployment of foreign ground troops in the war-torn Syria could result in a "new world war." This threat comes after the collapse of the latest round of peace talks to end the long-running civil war in Syria.

In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Russian PM Medvedev said, "The Americans and our Arab partners must consider whether or not they want a permanent war," referring to the recent proposal of Saudi Arabia to send ground troops in Syria.

Rory Challands, an Al Jazeera reporter, said Medvedev's comments are an explicit warning to the United States and Saudi Arabia, including their regional allies. He also added that this statement should not be taken lightly.

"He basically told them to back off on sending troops because if they did, this might result in some sort of interminable or even a world war," Challand said, reporting from Moscow.

Dmitry Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) speaks during an interview at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow, Russia, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Ekaterina Shtukina/Sputnik/Pool

Medvedev stressed that conflicts in Syria intensified after Western countries refused to cooperate with them.

Both Russia and the United States have pleaded to each other to end the war in Syria through a ceasefire and concentrate on how to stop to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). However, both countries have their own agenda that they want to push.

At the recent meeting of more than 24 defense ministers at NATO headquarters, US defense chief Ashton Carter said Saudi Arabia has agreed to send ground forces to Syria to defeat ISIL. The strategy is to recapture Raqqa, ISIL's de facto capital.

Previously, Saudi Arabia declared they are committed to sending ground troops. The country is a member of the so-called US-led coalition that has been conducting air raids against what are claimed to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria.

Syria Middle East Talks
U.S. Foreign Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) gesture before their bilateral talks in Munich, Germany, February 11, 2016, ahead of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

According to Wesley Clark of USA today, it is important to recognize that that even if ISIL is a real threat to the United States, the bigger enemy is Russia. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly shown his military powers in different ways--- the attacks in Georgia in 2008, in Ukraine in 2014-15 and in Syria today.

On the other hand, Vyacheslav Matuzov, a former Russian diplomat, stated Russia was not fuelling the war in Syria, rather it had prevented it from becoming worse.  

Matuzov went on to explain that all countries should understand there there's no solution but a political solution. "Those who do not agree to stop fighting will be enemies, and will be destroyed," he declared.

Tags : ISIL, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia, Syria Civil War, Foreign ground troops, United States, War, Saudi Arabia