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Saudi Minister Visits Areas Controlled by US-backed Forces In Syria, Meets With ‘Raqqa Civil Council’


Saudi Minister Visits Areas Controlled by US-backed Forces In Syria, Meets With 'Raqqa Civil Council'
On October 17, the US Special Envoy for the US-led coalition Brett McGurk visited the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-held Ayn Issa town in the northern Raqqa countryside along with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, according to Syrian opposition sources.

Al-Sabhan is the former Saudi Ambassador to Iraq.

According to the sources, McGurk and al-Sabhan met with the SDF’s Raqqa Civil Council to discuss the rebuilding of Raqqa city. The sources added that al-Sabhan met with many leaders of Syrian Arab tribes in Raqqa. This was the first time when a Saudi official visited the SDF-held areas, and publicly met with officials of the SDF.

The real aim of the visit for sure goes beyond supporting the rebuilding of Raqqa city. The US might be pushing the Saudis to become a sponsor of the SDF.

While Saudi Arabia and the SDF share some goals in Syria, they also disagree on many matters. For example, the SDF wasn’t invited by Saudi Arabia to the Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh on August 21. And from its side, many political leaders of the SDF blamed Saudi-sponsored Syrian opposition groups on many occasions.

Due to this, the US will need serious efforts to convince Saudi Arabia to become the supporter of the SDF, as the US may seek to decrease its direct support to the SDF after ISIS is defeated.

In a related development, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at briefing on October 18 that US will “take the lead” in an effort to clear rubble and restore basic services in Raqqa, according to Reuters Agency.

“The United States and our allies have prepared for next steps and will continue to work with partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need and support the stabilization efforts in Raqqa and other liberated areas,” Nauert said.

Experts believe that running the Arab city of Raqqa will be a challenge for the Kurdish-dominated SDF even with the US support. If the SDF tries to implement some of its questionable policies in there, like forcing people to learn the Kurdish language, it will likely fail to run the city.

Meanwhile, the newly formed Qeyam Movement continued its attacks against Kurdish units across the SDF-held area. The group released a new video claiming that another member of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) was killed by its members. The Qeyam Movement is an Arab anti-SDF group operating in the SDF-held area.



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  • Lupus

    Criminals who should be beaten up by the people on the market square

  • eric zweistein

    Another unforced error by Zion. This farce too will backfire badly…

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Saudi Arabia,USA,NATO and Israel have no shame.How can a dignitary of a foreign country sneak in a Sovereign country without the awareness of legitimate government. Atlease European delegation and some other visitor’s and journalist’s have informed Syrian government before their visits.This happened when the war was in the favour of terrorist.This behaviour is clear indication of disrespectful for sovereign state.Worst then Mexico immigrants which USA kills.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Neither the U.S. nor the Saudis or the illegally U.S. supported Kurds have any right to decide what happens inside Syrian borders. Syria’s neighbors (Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon) are not going to tolerate partition any more than the Syrians will. The Kurds, in fact hundreds of disparate tribes who don’t even speak a common language and who follow corrupt regional strong men, will not be allowed to become an oil rich U.S. governorate. They will be pushed back to 2003 borders and into insignificance, once more the pawn of illicit US political ambitions.

  • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

    Why are they so inclined to make the same mistakes as they’re definitely illegally there in the first place. This clown from the US thinks he can legitimise these actions by introduction of a Shady Saudi who entered the country illegally as he has and this bogus Coalition has done. They will not be tolerated in the region so why insist on a presence there. There is already resistance to there attempt and a growing rebellion to it. The Asayish (SDF)has seized credit banks and industrial banks in northern Syria at gun point. This is going so bad on the image as their forces were involved in the attempted overthrow of the legitimate Iraqi Government and still expect to be seen as the “good guys” this is to absurdly funny.

  • goingbrokes

    Part of US strategy for a while now has been to bomb cities to rubble (paid by the tax payer) so they can award rebuilding contracts to their own companies (private profits from war) after the conflict is over. This was the plan for all of Syria. Saudi money will get the projects going and will buy political/religious influence for the Saudis – to corrupt more youth to become Wahhabi mercenary crazies. A nest of vipers.

  • Kira Binkley