Saudi Arabia Becoming More Involved In Syrian Civil War
Saudi Arabian Jihadists Increasingly Joining The Fight In Syria
Syria is bad and getting worse as the international community appears to have thrown up its hands and regional nations are turning their eyes away from their own complicity. For example, while publicly condemning terrorism, Saudi Arabia is looking the other way as Saudi jihadists leave the comfort of Riyadh to fight alongside al Qaeda in Syria against the regime of Bashir al-Assad.
“In early December, the head of the FSA [Free Syrian Army], the high-level defector General Salim Idriss, fled to Turkey when units of the Islamic Front occupied FSA warehouses on the border with Turkey that contained American-supplied equipment such as trucks, food, medicine and communications equipment including laptops and radios. The suspension of non-lethal aid to rebels in northern Syria last week by the Obama administration and Britain in response to the raid underscored Western fears of their supplies ending up in the hands of extremist rebel groups,” reports Daily Beast correspondent Jamie Dettmer.
The government of Syria has officially petitioned the United Nations to condemn Saudi Arabia’s actions.
In increasing numbers, Saudi Arabians are joining the fight in Syria, but not just as foot soldiers. In reality, many of the top leadership among jihadist groups come from Saudi Arabia, reports al-Monitor.
“It is as if the Saudi intelligence services suddenly decided to morally commit to the virtue of “turning a blind eye” to control what they deem to be the most dangerous groups. On the contrary, the number of Saudi people heading to Syria is increasing by the day. During the last couple of months, this phenomenon has started to spread among the middle class and the class right below the class of princes, so to speak. In other words, it is no longer limited to the poor, marginalized or those with modest conditions.”
UN Launches Largest Funding Appeal For Syria
In seeking $6.5 billion in funding for Syria, the United Nations launched its single largest appeal for funds from the global community. The Syrian appeal accounted for half of an overall $12.9 funding plan, according to Valerie Amos, UN emergency relief coordinator.
David Miliband has an op-ed in the London Evening Standard in which he provides a stark portrayal of the life of refugees as the days grow colder and food more scarce. Miliband, who is president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, has just completed a survey of conditions of life in Syria and found that Syria gives new meaning to the phrase “neighbour from hell”.
Despite the onset of winter, Miliband found children walking around in sandals and huddling with their siblings to generate warmth. And the number of refugees is overwhelming to those in the camps and to the countries the refugees now call home.
“I was told on a visit last month that 1,000 Lebanese villages and towns have seen their population more than double. In Jordan, a vital stabilising force in the region, 600,000 refugees represent a 15-20 per cent increase in the population. That is like the whole of Bulgaria coming to Britain — twice over. In Turkey, where the government has built 20 refugee camps of proper standard for some 200,000 people, there are at least 450,000 people who are not in camps.