Saudi-Arabia Hosts Anti-Assad Terrorist Groups
by Stephen Lendman
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most tyrannical nations, a valued US ally involved in regional state-terror.
From December 8 – 10, it hosted a three-day conference on Syria, attended by terrorist groups allied with Washington, its NATO partners, Saudi rulers and other regional rogue states, wanting Assad ousted by force, ignoring his overwhelming popular support.
It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. No so-called anti-Assad “moderates” exist, or too few to matter. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups fighting his government are extremist terrorists – imported from scores of countries, US imperial foot soldiers against peace and stability.
Riyadh invited over 100 members of anti-Syrian terrorist groups, aiming to reach consensus in their objectives. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian blasted the scheme, saying:
“Some of the terrorist groups linked to Islamic State are involved in the talks…These terrorist groups will not be allowed to decide Syria’s future.”
“Attempts to hold periphery meetings on Syria in Saudi Arabia and Jordan are outside (against) the Vienna declaration, and they divert the political efforts made in Vienna on Syria from their natural course and push (the outcome of) the Vienna (III) meeting into failure.”
Abdollahian stressed Syrians alone may decide who’ll lead them, not outside powers, especially Washington and Riyadh.
Iranian Finance Minister Ismail Ismail added: “The people who have been invited to the Riyadh conference are representatives of those organizations that are basically considered as terrorist organizations based on the UN approvals.”
Riyadh invited elements allied with Washington’s regional objectives. It aims to subvert Russian-led efforts to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Legitimate nonviolent Syrian opposition elements support resolving the ongoing conflict diplomatically. Kurdish groups blasted the Saudi scheme. They weren’t invited to Riyadh, only terrorist elements.
Opposition Syrian official Mahmoud Maryee said “(w)e (weren’t invited to) Riyadh…and we consider this move by Saudi Arabia as interference in Syria’s internal affairs.”
A Syrian Kurdistan Region Establishment statement said it won’t recognize what Riyadh participants agree on. The Kurdish Qamh party refused to attend the conference.
It’ll participate in an upcoming Kurdish-hosted conference on Syria in Hasaka province – to be followed by another one in Damascus.
Dissident Kurds attending the Saudi conference don’t represent the Kurdish community. In his most recent interview, Assad said after ISIS and other terrorist groups are defeated, “Kurdish demands expressed by certain Kurdish parties can be discussed nationally.”
“There’s no problem with that. We do not have a veto on any demand as long as it is within the framework of Syria’s unity and the unity of the Syrian people and territory, fighting terrorism, Syrian diversity, and the freedom of this diversity in its ethnic, national, sectarian, and religious sense.”
Separately, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Washington and its allies of failing to agree on what Syrian opposition groups are terrorists.
They disagree on “who represents the light forces and who represents the dark forces,” she said. They continue perpetuating the myth about anti-Assad “moderates.” No one can find them. They don’t exist.
Interviewed by RT International, former British MP/London mayoral candidate George Galloway said “Russia’s objective is to defeat the terrorists. The United States and Britain’s main objective, I would argue, is to get rid of President Assad.”
ISIS and other terrorist groups pose a real regional threat, not Assad, Galloway added. Defeating them depends on cutting off their funding and outside support, he stressed – not as long as Washington keeps using them as imperial foot soldiers, pretending to oppose elements it firmly backs.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.