Saudi-led Coalition: Goals, Outcomes

Up to now, three coalitions have been formed to combat terrorism, despite the apparent similarity in names and goals, they pursued different objectives. The US leads the first coalition. Russia leads the second one, and the third coalition is the one recently announced by the Saudis. Although the Saudis have not released more information about the hidden aspects of their coalition, the time period in which this sudden coalition was publicized is important for various reasons that are discussed in the following lines:

1. A one-hundred-percent US plan: in principle, the Saudi-led coalition is virtually the ground troops of the US-led coalition. The US officials immediately welcomed the formation of such a coalition by Saudi Arabia which is also worth discussion, to the extent that Ashton Carter, the Defense Secretary told immediately that Saudi-led coalition is formed in response to Washington’s call for greater participation of the Sunni states of the region. John F. Kirby, the US State Department spokesman said, the Coalition was in line with policies of the US in the region which required its allies to form such a coalition. The US President, Barack Obama in the recent summit of the G-20 in Antalya, Turkey, invited its Arab allies to form an army to intervene in Syria and Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Therefore, such efforts could be seen in the framework of the US plans after failure of terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

2. To follow secessionist goals in the region: the new Saudi-led coalition is aiming to develop religious division based on Sykes-Picot plan. A hundred years ago, the Sykes-Picot Agreement led to disintegration of the Ottoman state, and now the United States is making attempts to divide the countries of the region, particularly Iraq and Syria on the basis of race and ethnic differences. At that time, the Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia actively were involved in the implementation of the Sykes-Picot Agreement with Britain and France, and now these countries are provoked by the United States to implement the plan. Arabs in the Sykes-Picot Agreement were deceived to a great extent, now they seem to be deceived again. The evidence suggests that the US is trying to divide the region by countries themselves. To send ground troops to the region, the presence of Turkish troops in Mosul, and the Saudi-led coalition are the initial steps taken to implement the US plan.

John Bolton, the US former ambassador to the United Nations said the plan aims to create a “Sunni state” in some areas of Iraq and Syria occupied by ISIS, and at the same time a “Shiite state” in southern Iraq and a “Kurdish state” in the northern Iraq.

3- Adventure seeking through playing the role of regional police; the Saudi-led coalition is just a name and symbolic coalition which has no real value. At first, Saudi Arabia in its contacts with different countries had talked about a ‘coordination center against terrorism’, but in a deceitful move, Muhammad Bin Salman suddenly in a mid-night press conference gave the news of forming a “military-Islamic coalition” with the presence of 34 countries enjoying the support of 10 other countries. As Saudi Arabia had initially deceived many countries, they claimed lack of knowledge and expressed their surprise, and then shunned it, as Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country and the largest Sunni state said, “We do not wish to join a military alliance.” Algeria, the largest Muslim country in Africa together with Oman, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries took the same position. Secondly, during invasion of Yemen, Saudi Arabia had already talked about a wide Arab coalition, and without the consent of countries had included their names in the Arab coalition against Yemen. However, many countries, including Pakistan and Egypt refused to join the coalition. Third, while Saudi Arabia claimed that the coalition in Iraq and Syria has been formed in coordination with the international community and it would launch military operations in a legitimate way, it did not invite Syria and Iraq to participate in the coalition, while they have been the main victims of terrorism. Fourth, while Saudi Arabia has failed to achieve its goals in Syria and Yemen; how is it going to achieve goals at the international level that even the United States has failed to achieve? The reason behind the failure in achieving the stated goals lies in dishonesty and inconsistency in the claims and practices of the United States and the Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the sudden claim of Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism is questionable and has created doubts about its objectives. Fifth, it is noteworthy that fighting the Israeli terrorism was not among the goals of the coalition; however, it was said that Palestine was part of the coalition!. Sixth, the Saudi-led coalition was another sign of the interventionist approach of Saudi Arabia which intends to play the role of the regional police and this is a very dangerous adventure of Riyadh, which seeks another war, while it has not yet ended its former war. Seventh, while the United States and Arab countries have practically failed to achieve their objectives, particularly in the fight against terrorism, they are going to resort to symbolic moves and media propaganda to conceal their failure. Air maneuver of the United States and the Israeli regime with the participation of some Arab countries including Saudi Arabia are worth attention. Ninth, while oil prices are below thirty dollars per barrels, it is not clear how the billions of dollars needed for the collation would be provided by the Arab countries?

4. To save the terrorists: now that an alliance has been formed by Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria, and the strategy to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad has failed, it seems that the House of Saud is making attempts to compensate for its failures in the region, and with the pretext of fighting against terrorism, it seeks to directly enter Syria and Iraq to back up some terrorists and seize the control of some areas to pave the way for fulfilling secessionist plans of the US.

5. To remove the image of “mother of terrorism”: it seems that to remove the image of Saudi Arabia as the godfather of Takfiri terrorism is one of the goals behind this dramatic trick. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, there are more pressure on Saudi Arabia as a source of terrorism in the West, to the extent that many media and political circles in the West called for more pressure on Saudi Arabia as the source of terrorism instead of fighting the effects of terrorism. Therefore, the Saudi-led collation is aimed to overshadow the broad support of the Saudis for terrorism, global protests and mislead the public opinion.

6. To respond to pressure from the West: in recent weeks, officials and Western diplomats put Saudi Arabia under pressure for two reasons, claiming that Saudi Arabia has been negligent in the fight against ISIS.

First, the US and the West are under the pressure of public opinion because of their poor performance in the fight against terrorism. Secondly, they want to make use of the capacity of countries of the region to achieve their own goals. The Western countries are not willing to deploy their own ground forces for military intervention in Syria and Iraq; however, they are trying to make use of ground troops of Persian Gulf countries in their own adventures. As John McCain, the chairman of military committee of the US Congress said, the United States is seeking to form a ground force of a hundred thousand from Arab military forces.

7. A plan to show complaisance to the United States: the US warmly welcomed Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Interior, and described him as the hero of the war against terrorism. This means that the Western believe he deserves the leadership of Saudi Arabia more than Muhammad bin Salman. On the other hand, the intelligence service of German and some US press have described Muhammad bin Salman as a fearless child who is a threat to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the act of publicizing the new coalition is a show to depict Muhammad bin Salman much stronger than Mohammad bin Nayef, who can better please the West in the fight against terrorism. It seems that Mohammad bin Salman declared the formation of the coalition to tell the US and the West that if Mohammad bin Nayef defeats terrorism in Saudi Arabia, I would defeat terrorism in all the Muslim world.

8. To gain concessions in political negotiations: the US and Saudi Arabia are trying to change the atmosphere and make others believe they are the victorious one. This way they are trying to use such measures as a leverage in Geneva, Vienna and New York. After the success of the Syrian army in field events, it seems that the US held the talks in New York in order to disrupt the serious efforts made to conclude the Syrian-Syrian negotiations proposed at the Vienna meeting. Especially that Kerry had failed to achieve any favorable results in his three-hour journey to Moscow and Putin met him with a negative response. On the other hand, the airstrikes of ‘Operation Resolute Storm’ proved ineffective. Recent victories of the Yemenis and Yemeni resistance operations inside Saudi Arabia and falling of Saudi military bases and failure of the US plans, have aroused the worries of the United States more than the Arab countries member of the coalition, because more cities and regions of Saudi Arabia are likely to fall. Accordingly, as the US and Saudi Arabia have failed to reach their goals in Yemen, they gave in to the idea of the Yemeni-Yemeni talks. Therefore, to declare the Saudi-led collation, concurrent with Syrian- Syrian talks and Yemeni-Yemeni talks in Vienna, Geneva and New York are only aimed to put them under pressure to make more concessions in the negotiation table.


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