Iran is ready to help defend Syria's airspace, Iran's air defense chief said, the New York Times reported Feb. 14. However, he said any such aid would be provided in an "advisory" capacity. This is the first time Iran has offered to assist with Syrian air defenses. The defense chief's remarks come after Turkey and Saudi Arabia — leading supporters of the rebels battling to topple al Assad — said they were open to sending ground troops into Syria to battle the Islamic State. Saudi Arabia also deployed warplanes to Turkey's Incirlik air base on Feb. 14 for the same purpose.