AT a time when US President Trump and France’s Macron are plotting a permanent US presence in northern Syria, to be supported no doubt by French and British troops, Saudi Arabia is busily raising billions for the projected US campaign.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, on Tuesday advised Qatar that it must pay for the US military presence in Syria if it wants to sustain Washington’s support.
‘Qatar has to pay for the US military presence in Syria and send its military forces there, before the US president cancels US protection of Qatar,’ Jubeir threatened in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
He made his remarks hours after US President Donald Trump urged wealthy Middle Eastern countries to increase their spending in Syria in a bid to ‘contain Iran’ after the collapse of the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab country.
‘Very rich countries are in the Middle East. They have to make major contributions. They have not been doing it as they should. A major topic that we discussed a little while ago: They have to step up tremendously – not a little bit, but tremendously – their financial effort,’ Trump said in a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Last week, the top Saudi diplomat expressed Riyadh’s readiness to send troops to Syria as part of a potential wider deployment led by the US, in response to Trump’s call on allies ‘including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, and others’ to form an Arab force to join the US military in Syria. The Saudi foreign minister says Riyadh will deploy troops into Syria if the US sends more forces into the Arab country.
The US military newspaper Stars and Stripes revealed last month that Trump had asked Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for $4 billion to spend on advancing Washington’s objectives in Syria. The Riyadh regime, a staunch supporter of all the anti-Damascus Islamists, is working overtime to end all talk of a US withdrawal. It is convinced that this would mean President Assad taking control over the whole of the country, and alter the Middle East for ever.
Israel has already received assurances that American forces will not be leaving Syria. According to Israel’s Arutz Sheva 7 news website, the reassurance came from a visiting US general, Joseph Votel, the head of the US military’s Central Command (CENTOM), who arrived in occupied Palestine on Monday to meet with top military officials from Israel.
The United States has begun the process of building a large military base in Syria’s oil-rich Dayr al-Zawr province, the report said. Israel has now been greatly encouraged to the point where Israel’s minister of military affairs says it will destroy Russian S-300 air defence systems in Syria if they are supplied to President Assad.
Avigdor Lieberman said during an interview with the Ynet news site on Tuesday, ‘One thing needs to be clear: If someone shoots at our planes, we will destroy them. It doesn’t matter if it’s an S-300 or an S-700.’ He added that relations with Russia were still good and that coordination between Tel Aviv and Moscow would continue. ‘They understand that we won’t get involved in internal Syrian matters and that we won’t allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria,’ said Lieberman.
The US-Israeli position has caused Moscow to think again. On Monday, Russia’s Kommersant business daily reported that the issue of Russia’s supplies of the advanced air defence systems ‘has practically been resolved’. Now Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has announced that his country has not yet decided to supply advanced S-300 missile defence systems to Syria, adding that the issue will be made public if Moscow makes such a decision.
The US, France, and the UK are preparing for an intervention in Syria that could rapidly bring Iran openly into the war, and explode the entire Middle East. This is why PM May is determined to keep parliament out of the decision-making process! There is only one way out of the crisis that is emerging. The working classes of the UK, France and the USA must bring down their governments with general strikes and bring in workers governments and socialism!