Saudi Arabia agrees to host training of moderate Syria rebels

Saudi Arabia has agreed to host training camps for the moderate Syrian rebels the Free Syrian Army ( FSA)

Saudi Arabia has agreed to host training camps for moderate Syrian rebels as part of President Barack Obama’s broad strategy to combat Islamic State militants who have taken over parts of Syria and Iraq, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The agreement, outlined by Obama’s aides on the night of his speech to the American people laying out his expanded campaign against the Islamist group, appeared to reflect the depth of Saudi concern about Islamic State’s threat to the region.

Obama announced he had authorized stepped-up U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and for the first time would extend the aerial assault into Syria, where he also vowed to beef up support for moderate rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. officials said a critical component of the plan to train and equip the Syrian insurgents, who have received only modest American backing so far and have failed to coalesce into a potent fighting force, was the Saudis’ willingness to allow use of their territory for the U.S. training effort.

“Now what we have is a commitment from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia … to be a full partner with us in that effort, including by hosting that training program,” a senior U.S. official told reporters in a conference call.

The Saudi decision came to light after Obama spoke by phone earlier in the day with Saudi King Abdullah.

Saudi Arabia, the main Arab Sunni power in the region, was dismayed last September when Obama backed off air strikes against Assad’s forces over the use of chemical weapons, and had pressed Washington to do more to strengthen the poorly organized moderate Syrian rebels.

“Both leaders agreed that a stronger Syrian opposition is essential to confronting extremists like (Islamic State) as well as the Assad regime, which has lost all legitimacy,” the White House said.

The Obama administration wants the Syrian rebels to play a role in the fight against the stronger Islamic State forces inside Syria. U.S. officials declined to specify where on Saudi territory the rebels would be trained.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a Middle East mission to drum up support for a coalition against Islamic State, is due to fly from Amman to Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

He will have talks there with senior officials from Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is unnerved by the rapid advance of Islamic State this year and fears it could radicalize some of its own citizens. Arab League foreign ministers agreed on Sunday to take all necessary measures to confront Islamic State.






9 responses to “Saudi Arabia agrees to host training of moderate Syria rebels”

  1. Reasonableman Avatar

    This is the year of the fall of saudi arabia from the hands of america.

    1. I thought all along you are a reasonable man , but no more.
      You better assume another name

      1. Reasonableman Avatar

        Thats your opinion.
        Everything america touches in the middle east turns to dirt while the west thrives. Its a pattern and its unfortunate and an embarresment saudi have to deal with them militarily when the arabs are still around.

        1. BS. Those Middle East areas get new power and water infrastructure, new schools, parks, plus money and weapons for their own defense. The U.S. gets stuck with the enormous bill, plus many dead servicemen and women, and lots of new anti-west propaganda. The Middle East is run by religion, and until that region evolves to keep their faiths separate from the business of running a civil society nothing will change.

          1. Reasonableman Avatar

            Lol wow we get all that and I didn’t know, its possible the monarchy(american ally) has this but not the rest of the population.
            Ill ask you a question and only you know the answer to it.
            If this is all true and the west isn’t thriving and the middle east is. Then why not go live in the middle east?
            Even a blind man can see whats happening.

          2. America is not responsible for, nor completely condones, the way the monarchy in Saudi Arabia disburses its country’s wealth nor how their religious council dictates social behavior.
            No, the Middle East is not thriving. But that’s not due to America, that’s due to internal religious differences and religious extremism in that region.

          3. Reasonableman Avatar

            but we do find them always sticking their nose into middle east business.

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Tourists, mostly. 😉

          5. 5thDrawer Avatar

            It’s always been a place one had to be strange to stomach.
            Many years ago, a friend went there to install good phone systems. With wife.
            A time of ‘peace’.
            Even if the ‘compound’ the ‘hidden foreigners’ had to live in had a swimming-pool, his wife could only take it for a few months … walking around in a tent and not being allowed to drive didn’t appeal, and the compound felt like jail.
            She left him there making the ‘big bucks’ and never went back.
            Have to admit, however, she returned with a great tan. ;-))

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