By Zainab Calcuttawala
By Zainab Calcuttawala
Rabat – Saudi Arabian and Moroccan military forces have allegedly begun collaborating in order to launch joint ground operations against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).
Quoting two Saudi officials, CNN reported that Morocco is committed to taking part in military operations that Saudi Arabia plans, including operations in Syria. The report, however, has not been confirmed by Moroccan authorities.
The Saudi move comes more than 16 months after the launch of the US-led international coalition to defeat ISIS. Launched on September 22, the US-led airstrikes have failed to deliver expect results, with ISIS still dominating large swaths of Syria and Iraq.
According to the same source, the bulk of troops who will take part in the military ground operations will be Saudis, in addition to Egyptian, Sudanese and Jordanian soldiers, who have already begun in Saudi Arabia to take part in military exercises in preparation for the forthcoming operations, which are expected to be launched in March.
Troops from Morocco, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain are also expected to arrive in Saudi to participate in the military exercises.
Morocco holds a strong strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states. Stemming from this relationship, the north African country has been participating in the Saudi-led airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which aim to restore legitimacy to the country’s currently contested government..
Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria five years ago, Morocco has been actively participating in providing humanitarian relief to Syrian refugees.
As part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian relief efforts for refugees fleeing the violence of the Syrian Civil War, a medical delegation from Morocco visited Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan on Monday, MENAFN, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Dr. Saket Fouad, head of the delegation, expressed his satisfaction with the quality of medical services provided by the Saudi clinics to the 80,000 Syrian refugees residing on the camp’s arid land that spans just three square miles.
The delegation was designed to be an inter-educational experience for the healthcare providers at the camp and to facilitate the transfer of patients under Saudi care to Moroccan clinicians, according to the report.
Edited by Kelsey Fish