Saudi warplanes may come to Turkey within days: Minister

Ankara, Feb 14 (IANS) Saudi Arabian military jets could arrive in Turkey in the next few days to carry out missions against the Islamic State (IS) militants group, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.

The aircraft are likely to be based at the Incirlik air base in Turkey’s southern Adana province, from which many US bombers have been bombing the IS areas in Syria.

Cavusoglu said it was not certain how many Saudi warplanes would be based in Turkey.

“Because this is our common struggle… Saudi Arabia also wanted to send aircraft and join the air operations,” he added.

As Syrian government forces are making gains lately on the battlegrounds, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and others have voiced readiness to deepen their military intervention in the war-torn country.

A Saudi military spokesperson has pledged to send in ground troops in case of the US-led coalition’s agreement to launch a ground operation in Syria, while the UAE has agreed to dispatch special forces there, as claimed by US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter.

The Russian Defence Ministry claimed early this month that it had “reasonable grounds to suspect intensive training in Turkey for a military invasion” into Syria.

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