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Iran reacts to Saudis' offer of troops in Syria

Iranian officials play down Saudi statements about sending ground troops to Syria, especially as the Syrian government makes gains on the ground.

To Iran, Saudi Arabia sending troops to Syria is “suicidal,” at least according to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, who made the remark Feb. 6 at the funeral of a senior IRGC officer who was killed in Syria. Several other Iranian officials have also played down Saudi statements about an interest in contributing to the war on the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

“It’s a joke,” said an Iranian military source who asked not to be identified in a phone interview with Al-Monitor. “We couldn't wish [for] more than that. If they can do it, then let them do it — but talking militarily, this is not easy for a country already facing defeat in another war, in Yemen, where after almost one year they have failed in achieving any real victory.”

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