The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Saturday that 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.
Jafari’s remarks on an Iranian news agency were Iran’s first official reaction to an offer from its regional rival Saudi Arabia this week that it would be ready to join ground operations in Syria if a US-led military alliance decided to start the operations.
"[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 said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Moualem said on Saturday that Syria would see any incursion on its territory as an act of aggression, referring to Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it was ready to send in ground troops.
"Any ground intervention on Syrian land without the agreement of the Syrian government is an act of aggression ... we regret that those [who invade] will return to their countries in coffins," Moualem said.
Iran has already deployed forces to Syria to support its ally Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad in his country’s five-year-old civil war. The US and its allies have backed the opposition fighting Assad and said that he must finally resign.