FM: Foreign troops entering Syria would return 'in coffins'

FM: Foreign troops entering Syria would return 'in coffins'

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem warned Saudi Arabia against intervening in Syria militarily, saying those who will enter the Syrian ground without the consent of the Syrian government "will return to their countries in wooden coffins".

Foreign Minister al-Muallem went on to criticize United Nations envoy Steffan de Mistura for conducting talks with Syrian opposition leaders whom he claimed "don't represent the Syrian people".

Russia's Defense Ministry meanwhile said it had "reasonable grounds" to suspect that Turkey, another opposition ally, is making intensive preparations for a military invasion of Syria.

The audience of journalists, top government officials and other invitees applauded politely as veteran Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem spoke defiantly about U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva and about continuing military operations "until terrorists are defeated".

"The two Vienna Communiqués and the Security Council Resolution (2254) stress on the broadest representation of the opposition delegation" Th Minister said, adding ...We told them "do not repeat the mistakes of Geneva 2".

More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria's five-year war, with recent Russian airstrikes reported to have killed at least 150 civilians, with many people still attempting to flee the country and an estimated 70,000 refugees set to reach the country's border with Turkey by 7 February.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, both ruled by Sunni Muslim monarchies, said this week they were ready to participate in any ground operations in Syria if the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Syria and Iraq decides to start such operations.

He says that logic would preclude any (Saudi) ground intervention in Syria, but that the folly of the Saudi regime means that nothing can be excluded.

He said the Syrian government is ready to settle the situation of the rebels who abandon the insurgency against the Syrian government "because they are the sons of this country". He warned Saudi Arabia that any aggression on Syrian soil would result in the aggressors being sent home in wooden (coffins).

He called on rebel fighters to "come to their senses" and lay down their weapons. The offensives are part of the reason talks in Geneva fell apart.

According to an analyst, the fate of Saudi-backed Syrian armed opposition groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad is also a major concern for the kingdom.

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