The Mad Kingdom: Saudi Raises the Stakes
By: Ibrahim al-Amin
Published Friday, November 15, 2013
Saudi Arabia asked the United States for additional time in Syria after agreeing with the “principle” of attending Geneva II on the condition that it is not held anytime soon, giving the lunatics running the kingdom an opportunity to tip the scales in the opposition’s favor.
The man running the show for the Saudi royals is their chief spook Bandar bin Sultan. He’s a man without a soul or conscience – his overwhelming desire is to get his way at any cost. When Bandar was given the Syria file a few months ago, he agreed with the Americans, French, and British intelligence services, and with the help of the Emirates and Jordan, to carry out the following steps:
– Radically restructure the Free Syrian Army and form a “national army,” to which France nominated the breakaway General Manaf Tlass as a possible commander. The Saudis did not even need to object, as a chorus disapproval rang out from the ranks of the opposition’s armed groups.
– Bandar agreed with the Americans to isolate those forces fighting under al-Qaeda’s banner, and in return, won Washington’s approval to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood’s militias, in addition to armed groups working independently, who the Saudis saw as agents of Qatar and Turkey.
– Bandar also convinced the king of Jordan to permit the establishment of training camps near the Syrian border, along with safe passage for the fighters in and out of the kingdom. But Bandar did not come through on preventing the influx of al-Qaeda elements, which caused concern in the royal palace.
– The Saudi spy chief, in cooperation with Washington and Paris, is in the process of building up an army of 30,000 fighters, with many coming from the ranks of the “Army of Islam,” which is known to have ties to al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front.
– Bandar is also facilitating the arrival of large shipments of advanced weapons that commanders on the ground say will help them deflect the Syrian army’s advances. This includes rockets that will allow them to strike the heart of Damascus and Hezbollah areas in the Lebanese Bekaa and South.
– In Lebanon, the Saudi spy chief is looking to reconnect Lebanese areas, particularly in the North, to territory under the Syrian opposition’s control just across the border. In a place like Tripoli, this means making the city a no-go area for the Lebanese army, as well as the possibility of ethnically cleansing the Alawis of Jabal Mohsen.
So, the madness of the Saudi kingdom is reaching fever pitch, and it is remarkable that there are Lebanese parties more than willing to follow, helping Bandar and his ilk to wreak havoc on both Lebanon and Syria in the coming months, and possibly years, to come.
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.