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Saudi Arabia’s Arms Rush to Syria



By Catherine Shakdam

Feb 20, 2014

The Geneva peace talks on Syria have drawn to a disappointing, although anticipated, close, with no resolution to be spoken of, other than the promises of further talks at some point in the future. Already Saudi Arabia has reverted to its rhetoric of war, intent on crushing the Syrian government.

When Al Saud royals decided to sink their teeth into the colossus of the Levant, Syria, little did they realize that President Bashar Al Assad would oppose their hegemonic plans in the region with defiance and utmost stoicism.

Three years into the war and Saudi Arabia has been forced to step out of the shadows and announced itself as the grand terror master, the driving force behind Al Qaeda and its Takfiri affiliates. If anything, Syria’s courage before enemy fire, its commitment to national sovereignty and the protection of its people against the onslaught of Zionism, have allowed the public to see through Saudi Arabia’s deception and recognize Syria’s war for what it is: the foreign invasion of an Arab land by Zionist-backed terror militias.

Allegedly frustrated by Geneva’s failure, Saudi Arabia reportedly offered to supply the so-called Free Syrian Army with anti-aircraft missiles. The very idea that Takfiri militants could be given access to such weapons is simply too blood-chilling to imagine.

Sources in Jordan have revealed that Al Saud ordered the transfer of anti-aircraft missiles in its Jordanian warehouses well before officials at Geneva even began to discuss the possibility of a truce, a clear sign that the Kingdom never intended for diplomacy to have a chance but rather worked at disrupting the talks to better justify its plan in Syria: heavy weaponry.  As per reported by the Wall Street Journal, “Russian-made antitank guided missiles and Chinese man-portable air-defence systems are up for grabs, already waiting in warehouses in Jordan and Turkey.”

Following months of lobbying and money flashing at US officials, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan - director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency – has managed to once again tip America’s narrative regarding Syria back to aggression. On January 30th, US sources revealed that US President Barack Obama met in Amman – Jordan capital – with Saudi intelligence officials to hash out the new terms of their “arrangement” in regards to Syria.

Besides agreeing to the transfer of yet more anti-aircraft missiles and other heavy weaponry, the US also transferred an estimated $3 million to what are effectively Western-controlled Takfiri units in Syria, a de facto bank-rolling of al Qaeda.

This Friday, President Obama promised an increasingly reticent Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II, whose country has been in essence turned into a permanent military base against Syria and its allies, to pay up $1 billion in loan guarantees as well as the renewal of a memorandum of understanding that provides the kingdom with $600 million in US financial and military aid. In return King Abdullah II promised to look the other way while his kingdom has become ground zero against the last Arab line of defence against Zionism in the Levant.

On the same day, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the Defence Department was looking at a possible military deployment in Syria. “There’s an interest in coming up with other options in Syria moving forward,” he noted.

Arab diplomats privy to such plans have already told the press that Saudi Arabia aims to tip the balance of power in Syria by challenging President Al Assad’s air power and heavy weaponry capacity on the ground. With Turkey and Jordan having become but pawns in Saudi Arabia’s chess game, Syria finds itself surrounded by enemies, its people pinned down by pro-Zionists.

In a rather gawky attempt to distance itself from radical extremists, Syria's so-called opposition has attempted to sell its request for more weapons, men and money, as a last effort to bring peace to war-torn Syria.

“We're trying to assure the international community that they can support moderates,” said Oubai Shahbandar, a senior adviser to the so-called Syria opposition, failing to mention that those he calls moderates are the very men who have mercilessly pillaged and massacred countless villages in Syria.

The Voice of Reason

While western powers have been keen to paint the Syrian regime as difficult to deal with, alleging that when the opposition had shown flexibility and good faith, Damascus had met such efforts with inflexibility, Russia has evened out the situation, reminding the West of its own political inconsistency.

“The only thing they want to talk about is the establishment of a transitional governing body,” stressed Sergey Lavrov, Russia Foreign Minister this Friday, adding “Only after that are they ready to discuss the urgent and most pressing problems, like terrorism … I am very worried about the systematic attempts to disrupt the political settlement in Syria, therefore forcing the [Syrian] government to slam the door.”

Lavrov recalled that when western powers first floated the idea of peace talks, it was agreed that no mention would be made of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad departure, since he had been democratically elected by the people of Syria in accordance with the constitution. Instead, all parties agreed that they would discuss the creation of a transitional political body, the holding of free and fair elections, and a national dialogue prior to the implementations of a set of reforms in keeping with popular wishes.

Irritated and frustrated at western double talks and political hypocrisy, Lavrov told reporters, “Now they are saying that to keep talking is senseless, because the government (of Syria) doesn't want to agree about the makeup of a transitional governing body. We are going in circles.”

Echoing Lavrov’s unease, Syria Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad emphasized, “I deeply regret to say that this round did not achieve any progress … We came to the Geneva conference to implement Syria's declared position to reach a political solution. ... Unfortunately the other side came with another agenda, with an unrealistic agenda."

And indeed, while Syrian officials came out to Geneva to defend their people’s interests by putting an effective end to terrorism, bloodshed and suffering, the so-called opposition and their western backers have sought only to precipitate the fall of Syria’s political legitimacy.

If one thing is ever to be remembered from such political back and forth is that, while Zionists’ are stubborn, the resolve of Syria and its allies is stronger yet, for the light of the righteous shall never be extinguished.

Catherine Shakdam is a commentator and political risk consultant. Her writings have appeared in Foreign Policy Association, the Guardian and Majalla among many others. Based in the UK, she worked in collaboration with Yemen Human Rights Minister on shaping new policies to protect women rights.