7 things to consider before sending troops to Syria

Saudi Arabia has offered to deploy ground forces in support of the US-led coalition’s fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria — apparently with American support. Such a move will undoubtedly make the conflict even more nightmarish.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has stated: “The United States government was very supportive and very positive about the kingdom’s readiness to provide special forces to the operation in Syria.” It seems Washington and Riyadh have not learned from their past mistakes, of which there have been many:

1. The United States supported the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and even flirted with supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. The US made the mistake of believing that Syria could follow in Egypt’s footsteps, even though Syria had a far more sensitive sectarian and political balance than either of those countries.

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This article was written by Seyed Hossein Mousavian for Al-Monitor on Feb. 12, 2016. Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a research scholar at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiators.