Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saudi Arabia responsible for Syria bloodshed

By: Yusuf Fernandez
Source: Press TV

Damascus has recently lashed out at the Saudi regime, accusing the kingdom of backing “terrorists” after Riyadh condemned Syria for accepting fighters from Hezbollah in its struggle against foreign-backed terrorists.

Syria has denounced that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which work closely with the United States and its European allies, are responsible for the conflict and the ongoing bloodshed in its territory.

The remarks by Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi came after Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah. Prince Saud al-Faisal spoke of “a foreign invasion” in Syria forgetting that his country has been financing and arming thousands of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists from all over the world and encouraging them to go to fight in Syria.

According to the observers, Saudi Arabia's real objective is to eliminate Bashar al-Assad’s government because it is an Iranian ally and to replace it with a pro-Saudi extremist government. This would also allow Riyadh to increase its pressure on the Shia-led Iraqi government and to embolden pro-Saudi and pro-West forces in Lebanon against Hezbollah.

The recent election of Ahmad Jarba as president of the foreign-backed Syrian National Coalition has reinforced the influence of Saudi Arabia over the perpetually divided opposition body and dealt a severe blow to Qatari leadership. Jarba, a tribal leader from the eastern Syrian province of Hasaka, has strong Saudi connections. He took the post from businessman Mustafa Sabbagh, a Qatar-backed figure. According to McClatchy News, Jarba is “in close touch with senior members of the Saudi intelligence services,” a euphemism to say he’s a Saudi agent. Sabbagh, for his part, said that “the Syrian dossier is now in the hands of Saudi Arabia.”

Jarba has stated publicly his rejection to peace talks with the Assad government, thereby perpetuating the cycle of violence, which benefits the Saudi regime and costs more innocent Syrian lives. Jarba has said that “the participation in the Geneva 2 conference in these circumstances is impossible.” Political observers who have been following events in Syria for some time understand that these “circumstances” are the continued military defeats of the foreign-backed terrorists by the forces of the Assad government.

It is this desperate need for victories by the militants that is driving Riyadh to become even more involved in fomenting the war. Using Jarba as their proxy, the Saudi government has launched a new and even deadlier phase of the war against Syria. In his first two days as head of the coalition, Jarba announced that the militants would soon receive “new shipments of sophisticated weapons from Saudi Arabia.”

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal has rejected any negotiated settlement and he has made it clear that Saudi Arabia only wants a scenario of total regime collapse and a subsequent solution in which pro-Saudi elements would occupy a dominant position in the new power structure in Syria. Consequently, Saudi Arabia is doing its best to sabotage the Geneva-2 conference.

The conference, which was agreed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov last year, was intended to take place last May but it has been repeatedly postponed and its holding is now in doubt, largely because the West and Persian Gulf monarchies´ favourite clients, the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Coalition, refuse to participate in it because they are currently losing.

Europe ignored Bandar´s request

However, most governments in the world do not support the Saudi position and do not want an extremist al-Qaeda-linked or a Taleban-style regime in Syria, which would be a serious threat for the whole world and especially for Europe. Significantly, a recent European tour of the head of Saudi intelligent service, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, meant a great setback for Saudi Arabia and him personally. He tried to convince European countries to increase military aid to the Syrian opposition, but all these countries were unanimous in rejecting this request. Recently, two French MPs called on French President, Fran├žois Hollande, to start to use reason in the treatment of the Syrian crisis and to refuse to supply arms to the opposition.

“The masks have fallen and the true face of certain figures in the Syrian opposition have appeared. Even if opposition includes some democratic currents, most remaining currents are extremist,” wrote Jacques Mayar and Alain Marsaud in this statements. “Any provision of weapons to this opposition would cause more chaos, not only in Syria, but throughout the Middle East.”

Bandar, who was the Saudi ambassador to the US for many years, is Washington’s strong man in the kingdom. Its mission, internally, is to protect the process of the transfer of the power from the first generation of princes to the second one. Externally, his task is to implement an agenda aimed at destroying or weakening the axis of the resistance, a goal which is widely shared by the US. He is also closely linked to the CIA and US decision centers and institutions.

According to reports, Bandar visited Washington a few weeks ago and he met senior officials of the CIA and the White House there. He would also have held a secret meeting with President Barack Obama. The latter would have agreed to a Saudi request to entrust the kingdom the exclusive management of the Lebanese and Syrian cases, provided that Bandar assumes the responsibility.

Therefore, the US government is allowing its Saudi ally to keep on sending international terrorists to Syria, including hundreds of Western militants who receive combat training in the Arab country and will be able to later put into practice their skills and knowledge in their own countries when they return there.

Renowned Middle East journalist Robert Fisk has stated ironically that the Obama administration “is claiming that they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan´s dark ages.”

Saudi role against Hezbollah

The destabilizing role of the Saudi regime is not limited to Syria but it can be seen in Lebanon as well. Some of the Lebanese media have blamed Saudi Arabia for the recent bombing of Bir al-Abed, in the Suburb of Southern Beirut on July 9. According to Lebanese sources, the attack was the work of a professional intelligence service and not of a terrorist group. These same sources suggest a role for Bandar bin Sultan in the execution of a plan to weaken and pressure Hezbollah for its role in the Syria fighting.

The above-mentioned Lebanese sources point out that the battle of Al Qussair meant a dramatic turning point in the Syrian conflict as well as a total defeat for foreign-backed militants and the weakening of the Saudi role in the region and Saudi Arabia understands this. The project assigned to the Saudi regime to eliminate the axis of resistance has been sabotaged by Hezbollah´s role alongside the Syrian Arab Army.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia, with its intransigent stance and its continued support for terrorist and extremist groups in Syria is putting the worlds stability and the future of Syria at risk. Saudi arms are already in the hands of al-Qaeda-linked groups and they are committing massacres and all kind of crimes in Syria with them. There is also a danger that these weapons will be used by these groups in other parts of the world, including Western countries, to carry out terrorist attacks there.


About: Yusuf Fernandez:

Yusuf Fernandez is a journalist and the secretary of the Muslim Federation of Spain. He started to work for Radio Prague. He has been editor of several Islamic sites in Spanish and English and is currently editor of the Spanish site of Al Manar. He has also published articles in leading Spanish newspapers.


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