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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SYRIAN RESISTANCE: Saudi King Condemns Syrian Regime!


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Babak Dehghanpisheh, thedailybeast.com / Aug 9, 2011 12:14 PM EDT.

Mideast Lebanon Arab Visit
Saudi King Abdullah, right, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, left, during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Lebanon, in July 2010., Bilal Hussein / AP Photos.


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has spoken out against the Syrian regime. But as Babak Dehghanpisheh reports, the move was also a shot at Syria’s ally: Iran.


The message was about as blunt as it gets. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah issued a statement on Sunday calling for the Syrian regime to “stop the killing machine.”

“Large numbers of martyrs have fallen, their blood has been shed, and many others have been wounded,” he said. “This is not in accord with religion, values, and morals.” To drive the point home, King Abdullah recalled the Saudi ambassador in Damascus on Monday; Kuwait and Bahrain quickly followed suit.
On the surface, this seems like a strong position taken by one of the region’s most influential Arab governments. After all, at least 2,000 Syrians have been killed since the violent crackdown began in March.
But why did it take five months for the Saudis to speak up? “The Saudis have been leading the antidemocratic transformation in the Arab world, trying to push back the Arab Awakening,” says Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut. “So it’s kind of out of character for them to suddenly join the chorus of people who are pressuring the Syrians.”
The reality is that the harsh message wasn’t aimed only at Syria. The elderly Saudi king was also taking a straight jab at another country: Iran, Syria’s most prominent regional ally. "[The Saudis] want to destroy the single and only foreign-policy success of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, which is [establishing] links with Syria and Hizbullah," Khouri says.


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