Turkey, Saudi to coordinate in launching anti-IS ground operation in Syria

, 10:17 PM IST

Istanbul:While Riyadh is ready to send war planes to a Turkish base to fight the extremists,Turkey and Saudi Arabia are ready to coordinate in launching a ground operation against the militant Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

Taking part in the Munich Security Conference foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was reported as saying “If there is a strategy (against IS) then Turkey and Saudi Arabia could enter into a ground operation”

“Some say ‘Turkey is reluctant to take part in the fight against Daesh (IS)’. But it is Turkey that is making the most concrete proposals” he added.

Cavusoglu said that Saudi officials arrived at Turkey and  did a reconnaissance of the base. At the moment it is not clear how many planes will come.

Asked if Saudi Arabia could send troops to the Turkish border to enter Syria, Cavusoglu said: “This is something that could be desired but there is no plan. Saudi Arabia is sending planes and they said ‘If the necessary time comes for a ground operation then we could send soldiers”

Last year in December, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Riyadh for talks with King Salman as well as key decision-makers crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef and deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Friday  Tayyib Erdogan had several hours of talks in Istanbul with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, but the contents of the talks was not revealed.