Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Middle East Plots

By       Message Conn Hallinan       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/9/15

Author 76846
Become a Fan
  (11 fans)
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from Dispatches From The Edge

From youtube.com/watch?v=DP1loqz0zJ4: Turkey, Saudi Arabia in talks for alliance to oust al-Assad: Report Turkey and Saudi Arabia are in high-level talks with the goal of forming a military alliance to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to sources speaking ...
Turkey, Saudi Arabia in talks for alliance to oust al-Assad
(Image by YouTube)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

A quiet meeting this past March in Saudi Arabia, and a recent anonymous leak from the Israeli military, set the stage for what may be a new and wider war in the Middle East.

- Advertisement -

Gathering in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh were Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, newly crowned Saudi King Salman, and the organizer of the get-together, the emir of Qatar. The meeting was an opportunity for Turkey and the Saudis to bury a hatchet over Ankara's support -- which Riyadh's opposes -- to the Muslim Brotherhood, and to agree to cooperate in overthrowing the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

- Advertisement -

Taking Aim at Assad

The pact prioritized the defeat of the Damascus regime over the threat posed by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and aims to checkmate Iranian influence in the region. However, the Turks and the Saudis are not quite on the same page when it comes to Iran: Turkey sees future business opportunities when the sanctions against Teheran end, while Riyadh sees Iran as nothing but a major regional rival.

The Turkish-Saudi axis means that Turkish weapons, bomb-making supplies, and intelligence, accompanied by lots of Saudi money, are openly flowing to extremist groups like the al-Qaeda associated Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham, both now united in the so-called "Army of Conquest."

- Advertisement -

The new alliance has created a certain amount of friction with the United States, which would also like to overthrow Assad but for the time being is focused on attacking the Islamic State and on inking a nuclear agreement with Iran. This could change, however, because the Obama administration is divided on how deeply it wants to get entangled in Syria. If Washington decides to supply anti-aircraft weapons to the Army of Conquest, it will mean the United States has thrown in its lot with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and that the "war on terror" is taking a backseat to regime change in Syria.

Not that the Americans are overly concerned about aiding and abetting Islamic extremists. While the U.S. is bombing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration is also training Syrians to overthrow Assad, which objectively puts them in the extremist camp vis-a-vis the Damascus regime. Washington is also aiding the Saudis' war on the Houthis in Yemen. Yet the Houthis are the most effective Yemeni opponents of the Islamic State and the group called Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, against which the United States is waging a drone war.

The Turkish-Saudi alliance seems to have already made a difference in the Syrian civil war. After some initial successes last year against divided opponents, the Syrian government has suffered some sharp defeats in the past few months and appears to be regrouping to defend its base of support in the coastal regions and the cities of Homs, Hama, and Damascus. While the Syrian government has lost over half of the country to the insurgents, it still controls up to 60 percent of the population.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Conn M. Hallinan is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus, "A Think Tank Without Walls, and an independent journalist. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. He oversaw the (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Iran Sanctions: War by Other Means

Israel and Syria: Behind the Bombs

Japan Vs. China: Smoke or Fire?

Marching On Moscow

Iran: Rumors Of War

Iran, Israel and the U.S.: The Slide To War