Saudi Arabia said earlier it was ready to send armed forces to Syria if the deployment is agreed with the US-led coalition. Reports last week claimed that Turkey had sent its troops over the border. It also intensified shelling of Kurdish positions in northern Syria earlier this week. “Mass shelling of the Syrian territory by Turkey, Ankara’s and Riyadh’s plans to start ground operations in Syria may upgrade the Syrian crisis to a new, dangerous level – a direct military confrontation between countries in the region,”  CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha told reporters.

The military alliance of former Soviet republics – Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – fears that Saudi and Turkish boots on the ground in Syria would pose a threat to CSTO member states, Bordyuzha added. Tensions in the region have escalated in the past months after regional powers openly sided with opposing warring parties in Syria. Meanwhile, a diplomatic breakdown between Saudi Arabia and Iran in January split Middle Eastern nations along the lines of Sunni-Shiite religious divide. READ MORE