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Iran mocks Saudi offer to send ground troops to Syria

DUBAI: The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard said on Saturday Saudi Arabia lacked the courage to go through with a plan to send ground troops to Syria, and warned they would be wiped out if they went in.

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Mohammad Ali Jafari’s blunt words on the Fars news agency were Iran’s first official reaction to a statement from its regional rival Saudi Arabia this week that it was ready to join ground operations in Syria if a U.S.-led military alliance decided to start them.

“(The Saudis) have made such a claim but I don’t think they are brave enough to do so … Even if they send troops, they would be definitely defeated … it would be suicide,” Jafari was quoted as saying.

Iran has already sent forces to Syria to back its ally President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s five-year-old civil war. Washington and its allies have backed rebels fighting Assad and say he must eventually step down.

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