Saudi Arabia to host Syria militants training: US official

Saudi Arabia to host Syria militants training: US official
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:38:42

Saudi Arabia has agreed to open its bases for the training of Syrian militants dubbed the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) as part of an effort to better equip them in Syria infighting, a US official says.

The official claimed on condition of anonymity ahead of Obama's speech, that the decision by the Saudis signals a significant new role for the influential kingdom in the fight against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.

“We now have the commitment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a full partner in this effort – the train-and-equip program – to host that program,” the senior US government official said on Wednesday.

The agreement by Saudi Arabia reportedly came after US President Barack Obama had a telephone conversation with Saudi King Abdullah earlier on Wednesday.

During the call, the two leaders agreed on the need for increasing training and equipment for foreign-backed militants in Syria who are also fighting with Takfiri terrorists.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have been strong supporters of the militancy in the region through funding and supporting militant groups.

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for authorization to arm and train the foreign-backed Syrian militants.

The use of Syrian militants is a key component of Obama's strategy because the US has pursued a policy of hostility in dealing with the Syrian government.

The FSA militants are essentially in a two-front conflict, fighting both ISIL terrorists and the Syrian Army forces.


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