Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saudi Arabia and ISIS

From Vladimir: "Steve Clemons on his Atlantic Magazine blog (link here) quotes a Qatari official as saying:

Qatar’s military and economic largesse has made its way to Jabhat al-Nusra, to the point that a senior Qatari official told me he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.”

ISIS, in fact, may have been a major part of Bandar’s covert-ops strategy in Syria. The Saudi government, for its part, has denied allegations, including claims made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that it has directly supported ISIS. But there are also signs that the kingdom recently shifted its assistance—whether direct or indirect—away from extremist factions in Syria and toward more moderate opposition groups.

That the Assad regime would prefer to fight those who openly associate with AQ is obvious but as you noted the Americans released "Baghdadi" - really I don' think they hoped that make is way to Iraq. You'll also recall there was a time when many pointed out that Hamas was tolerated by Israel in hopes that it would harm the main enemy; the PLO. "