Saturday, January 26, 2013

Syrian Official: Saudi Prince's Remarks Show Riyadh's Support for Violence in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Syrian official lashed out at former Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Turki al-Faisal for his recent remarks about the need for increased support for Syrian armed rebels, saying that his statements provide a further proof for Riyadh's key role in Syrian unrests.

Prince Turki has recently stressed that the Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad should be given anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to "level the playing field in their war".

"The statements by the former Saudi intelligence and security chief about the necessity for supplying weaponry aid to armed rebels in Syria show Saudi Arabia's objectives and intentions," Head of the Syrian Information Ministry's Research and Studies Center Meladh Meghdad told the Arab-language satellite television, Al-Alam.

He noted that since the beginning of unrests in Syria in March 2011, Saudi Arabia has been after destroying the Arab country and it has tried to play a pivotal role in Syria by supplying the armed rebels with arms as well as financial and media support.

"We should all know that Saudi Arabia has been hit by political crisis and it knows well that victory of the will of the Syrian people is eventually inevitable," Meghdad said.

The Syrian official reiterated that Saudi Arabia and some of its regional allies are fueling unrests in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

On Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prince Turki, who is also the brother of the kingdom's current foreign minister, said that he was no longer in government and did not need to be diplomatic, but "assumed" weapons were being sent to the rebels. He said it would be a "terrible mistake" if they were not.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia became the first Arab leader to call openly for armed support for the anti-Assad opposition after unrests began in March 2011. Along with Qatar, Turkey and the UAE, the Saudis are believed to be the rebels' principal suppliers and financiers. But public discussion of the issue is extremely rare and the demarcation between government and private initiatives is blurred.

Earlier this week, Turki also insisted that the Arab world did not have the capability to handle the crisis alone, clearly implying that western governments should get more closely involved. "It doesn't have the air force, the navy, the army, the intelligence-gathering machinery to go and surgically stop this fighting," he said.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.

The Palestinian al-Manar weekly reported that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing and supplying armed rebels in Syria with more explosive materials they have recently purchased from the US, Israel and UK in a bid to help the terrorists carry out their anti-government operations in the Arab country.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have smuggled the explosives to Syria with the assistance of the intelligence services of the Arab country's neighboring countries, including Turkey, the al-Manar quoted informed security sources as saying in December.

The sources also disclosed that there are special terrorist garrisons in Turkey which are administered by the security officers of Israel and western countries.

So far, several sources have disclosed that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been financing and dispatching terrorists in Syria and smuggle weapons to the crisis-hit country for campaign against Assad's government.

Reports coming from Syria in mid 2012 said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar in collaboration with the US and Britain have set up a secret command center in Turkey to supply the terrorists.

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