Saudi top diplomat urges allies to face IS 'on the ground'

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal during a meeting in Riyadh, on March 5, 2015Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Thursday urged the US-led coalition conducting air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq to wage a ground war against the jihadists. The kingdom, part of that coalition, “stresses the need to provide the military means needed to face this challenge on the ground,” Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry. President Barack Obama, anxious to avoid a drawn-out ground war, has backed an air campaign, but ruled out deploying infantry. The Saudi minister also warned of Iran’s growing role in Iraq, accusing the Shiite-dominated Islamic republic of “taking over” the kingdom’s Arab neighbour through its aid in the fight against IS.

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