Al-Zoubi: Combating ISIS needs ground operations in addition to airstrikes

Damascus, SANA – Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi affirmed on Thursday that defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) needs a military operation on the ground in addition to the air strikes, which are not enough alone.

“Of course, a victory over ISIS is not possible only through airstrikes. A military operation on the ground is needed in addition to the air operation. The Syrian army has experience in this field,” al-Zoubi told the Russian Sputnik news agency.

The Syrian army, he said, has experience in this field, and is still able to engage in ground battles.

He added that when the Syrian leadership sees a need to request something in the military field, it will ask its friends, brothers, and allies.

On the political track seeking to solve the crisis in Syria, al-Zoubi said that for Geneva 3 to succeed, talks should continue at Moscow 3.

“Syria is, of course, closer to holding Moscow 3 talks…because we have the experience of Moscow 2 negotiations where we were able to move forward on some of the issues on the agenda. These results showed that a dialogue is up and it has a positive effect,” al-Zoubi explained.

He said the government is willing to hold dialogue with any of the factions of the opposition, except for the armed and terrorist ones, stressing that the so-called “Free Army” has no actual presence on the ground.

The Minister stressed that President Bashar al-Assad is the guarantor for maintaining the state and for ensuring that a political solution is reached and implemented.

“We, as Syrians, need him now, because we believe that was it not for President al-Assad and the state and its institutions, on top the military institution, the national necklace would have broken,” he said

Manar al-Frieh/Qabas/H. Said

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