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Saudi Arabia Pushes US Toward Military Strike in Syria

Saudi Arabia is advocating for a US military strike in Syria to advance its own regional and sectarian agenda.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (C) arrives before the opening of an emergency meeting among the Arab League foreign ministers, held to discuss the Syrian crisis and the potential military strike on President Bashar al-Assad's regime, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, September 1, 2013. Saudi Arabia told fellow Arab League states on Sunday that opposing international intervention against the Syrian government would only encourage Damascus to use weapons of mass destruction. REU

After scoring a victory in Egypt, Saudi Arabia is hoping to achieve the same swift success in Syria, where the struggle between the regime and the rebels seems ever more complex and bloody. If it does, Saudi Arabia will emerge as the main arbiter of Arab regional politics for the foreseeable future. If it does not, its claim to regional leadership will be seriously undermined.

The human cost of the bloody Syrian conflict that was destined from the very beginning to become a regional and international concern is rising by the day. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal urged the Arab League to back a military strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime after the chemical attack on Ghouta in which hundreds of Syrians were killed. Faisal said Saudi Arabia would back a US strike on Syrian government targets, provided the military intervention was "the will of the Syrian people."

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