Belgium has announced its readiness to send ground troops to Syria in an alleged bid to end the deadly crisis in the Arab state.
Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput made the announcement on Saturday in an interview published in Belgium’s Flemish newspaper De Morgen.
As a member of the so-called US-led coalition that claims to target the positions of Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Syria and Iraq since last year, Belgium has sent six F-16 jets and 120 personnel to join airstrikes, from a base in Jordan.
“If a similar coalition is created in Syria, we cannot stay on the sidelines,” Vandeput said, urging a military solution in Syria.
“There are no other solutions in the long run but to deploy troops to re-establish peace. Otherwise military action makes little sense,” he added, noting, “We must first re-establish order in Syria and then stay on the ground to protect it.”
The Belgian minister said if what he called “clear conditions” are established, he is prepared to send Belgian troops to Syria.
The comments come on the same day that Australia carried out its first airstrikes in Syria.
Australia’s defense minister had earlier said his country’s airstrikes in the Middle East could last up to three years.
Canberra had already been carrying out airstrikes as part of the US-led alliance against Daesh in Iraq.
This September 23, 2014 US Air Forces Central Command photo shows a US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flying over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria. © AFP
Since September 2014, the US along with some of its regional allies has been conducting airstrikes against purported positions of Daesh inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The airstrikes in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against similar positions in Iraq, which started in August 2014.
This is while many of the countries joining the so-called anti-terror coalition, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been staunch supporters of the extremist elements fighting against the Syrian government.