Saudi Arabia Would Send Troops To Syria As Part Of "Islamic Coalition"

Update (10:30 pm ET): Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on local TV Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would consider sending troops to Syria if they were part of a coalition, per Sputnik.

"We've proposed America to send forces of the Islamic Coalition to Syria in order to fight against terrorism," he said.

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The Trump administration is hoping to secure a commitment from a handful of Middle Eastern states to assemble what is effectively an Arab army for a permanent military "stabilizing force" in Syria that would replace the U.S. military deployment in Syria and overthrow Assad prevent ISIS from regaining lost territory in Syria's battle-ravaged east.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump's new neocon National Security Advisor John Bolton, only in his second week on the job, has discussed the possibility of contributing troops with Egypt's top intelligence official - allegedly one of the most influential figures in Egypt's military-led regime.

Syria

And while full-scale commitments from Egypt and a handful of Gulf states remain elusive, should Trump succeed, he'd be able to tout a victory in an area where President Obama failed. Indeed, the Obama administration sought similar troop contributions from Syria's neighbors but came up empty handed.

The Trump administration is seeking to assemble an Arab force to replace the U.S. military contingent in Syria and help stabilize the northeastern part of the country after the defeat of Islamic State, U.S. officials said.

John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, recently called Abbas Kamel, Egypt’s acting intelligence chief, to see if Cairo would contribute to the effort, officials said.

The initiative comes as the administration has asked Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to contribute billions of dollars to help restore northern Syria. It wants Arab nations to send troops as well, officials said.

Details about the initiative, which haven’t been previously disclosed, have emerged in the days since the U.S.-led strikes on sites associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical-weapons capabilities.

The security force would have two goals: stop ISIS from reestablishing a presence in Syria, while also stopping Iran or Iranian-backed sources from doing the same (though Israel already has the latter pretty well under control).

While on Monday the White House refuted claims by French President Emmanuel Macron that he "convinced" Trump to agree to an extended US presence in Syria, it has been forced to concede that the US has no immediate plans to pull US troops from Syria, as President Trump recently promised. Raising an army of troops from regional neighbors would allow the Trump administration the best of both worlds: It could safely pull some or all of its troops while ensuring that the region remains protected.

Trump first alluded to his push to recruit regional partners on Friday, as he was launching the missile strikes. Indeed, the plan to recruit regional partners came about following Trump's insistence that the US pull out as quickly as possible.

Mr. Trump, who has expressed growing impatience with the cost and duration of the effort to stabilize Syria, alluded to the push on Friday night, when he announced the missile strikes.

"We have asked our partners to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing larger amounts of money," Mr. Trump said.

In early April, Mr. Trump spoke about the need to speed the withdrawal of the 2,000 troops the U.S. has in Syria, a position at odds with many top advisers who worry that leaving the country too soon would cede ground to Iran, Russia, their proxies or other extremist groups. The new administration initiative is aimed at avoiding a security vacuum in Syria that would allow Islamic State to return or ceding hard-won gains to Iranian-backed forces in the country.

The US has reached out to Egypt and the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. Of course, one "Middle East expert" quoted by WSJ claimed that defeating Islamic State in Syria remains a challenge, while assembling a fighting force consisting of Arab troops would face certain challenges.

Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, said that assembling a new force would be a challenge because Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are involved militarily in Yemen, and Egypt would be reluctant to defend territory that wasn’t controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Nor, he said, would Arab states be eager to send forces to Syria if the U.S. military didn’t agree to keep some troops there.

"There is just no precedent or established basis for this shaping into a successful strategy," he said.

And many questions remain about whether the U.S. military would maintain some involvement in executing such a plan. U.S. troops in Syria, and the Kurdish and Arab fighters they work with, have been protected by American air power. It remains unclear what role, if any, U.S. warplanes might play and who would call in airstrikes if they were needed by a future Arab force.

"It has to be strong enough to face down Assad or Iran if either seeks to reclaim territory, perhaps with Russia’s help," said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, referring to the new force.

Other complications: the Arab troops would be expected to cooperate with US-backed forces like the Kurds and other groups (some of which have extremist views) already operating in Syria. It also remains unclear what role the US airforce would play. Furthermore, the US-backed force would need to counter Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad if he tries to claw back some of his lost territory with the help of Russia or Iran.

Estimates vary, but it's believed that between 5,000 and 12,000 Islamic State fighters are still operating in eastern Syria.

Erik Prince, the founder of security firm Blackwater USA and the brother of Betsy Devos, told WSJ that he's been contacted by Arab officials about building a security force that would operate in Syria, but that these countries are waiting to see what Trump will do. Egypt's willingness to support a fighting force is also far from clear. It has enough on its hands battling ISIS-linked militants in the Northern Sinai Peninsula, who late last year carried out one of the deadliest attacks in the region when they killed more than 300 people at a Mosque. Egypt has rarely deployed troops abroad since the country sent more than 30,000 soldiers to join the American-led coalition fighting Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War. Its government has also occasionally made comments supporting the regime in Damascus. Even if countries didn't want to send troops, they could help in other ways by supplying money, logistics support or military training.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have already helped pay stipends for US-backed fighters, not to mention directly fund the very Islamic State terrorists that the US is allegedly fighting. And Trump has already asked his Saudi friends to contribute $4 billion to restoring areas of Syria once held by ISIS; so far they have been rather quiet, perhaps hoping to IPO Aramco before committing what is hardly pocket change to fighting their own war.

To be sure, Russia's response is pending. Perhaps Putin will decide to respond in kind and invite Chinese troops in Syria as part of his own "multinational" response to oppose any new Arab army, assuring that any attacks in the war-torn nation guarantee a new world war.

Comments

Scar Bro Luc X. Ifer Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:45 Permalink

The Egyptians will never cross Russia. The Saudi's are useless - According to some disnfo bloggers the "GCC troops are the most effective on earth" (excuse me while I wet myself laughing) and they're basically talking about Israeli soldiers or Israeli trained soldiers who only know how to fight defenseless civilian populations. So effectively when Trump pulls his troops out, these guys will last all of 5 minutes. Effectively, whoever is left will be under Israel's command. What Egyptian will want to fight Israel's war. 

Also, the 2 false alarms we've had since the w/e of Israel attacking Syria. I believe these are true. First, everyone's on a hair trigger in Syria hence the reports, but I think the Russians are well aware that Trump will pull out troops and doesn't want to jeopardize this by allowing an escalation... thus squashing reports and pretending there are no attacks taking place and as Israel never fesses up to it's attacks... seemingly, everything's cool. This is effectively giving Israel a "free hand" between now and when Trump pulls troops out. But what good is that? Israelis can't do much damage as they have to fire missiles from Leb airspace and according to Russia most of those get taken out.

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

Adolph.H. DownWithYogaPants Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

If the last thing trump and the neocons can do is put their trust in a multi national Arab army, then that tells us 2 things:

  1. Americans are fed up with war and they know it.
  2. They have no other resource for their ritual killings.
  3.  And maybe they're short of money too, but I digress. 

They'd like to pull an Afghanistan v2.0 on the Russian army but still haven't understood the manpower will not be Russian. Russian will be the brain and fine motor abilities. 

Now can you trust an Arab? 

They don't care, they're probably looking for a militia to guard the oilfields they stole:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/how-the-us-occupied-the-30-of-syria-conta…

At some point when the first contingents will be woodchipped, we may see something interesting happening, and maybe America will notice. 

----

It's okay not to be a Jew.

In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

fx zero_pussy Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:24 Permalink

Good luck uniting Arab soldiers froma bunch of countries that were almost at war with each other (KSA; qatar, UAE) under one banner. Soldiers, who never fought real battles. Soldiers who will be merely placeholders for all the rearmed and trained terrorists that the USA currently ammasses in Jordan and Iraq and eastern syria. Who in turn have little in common, too, except for their hatred of  Assad. And of Israel, btw.

 

The real problem for them is of course: the moment no US soldier is there anymore, Russia and Syria are free to bomb the shit out of these murderers and terrorists. And they will!

In reply to by zero_pussy

FBaggins tmosley Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:39 Permalink

"And while full-scale commitments from Egypt and a handful of Gulf states remain elusive, should Trump succeed, he'd be able to tout a victory in an area where President Obama failed." 

That's really great Trump. The war and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians is all about US political ratings and what the media will tell the American people.  And the the US-UK-Israeli axis after spending probably hundreds of millions on destabilization efforts in Syria before the war and billions supporting terrorist insurgents during the war, you now need fresh proxies just as the nation settles down and the people of Syria and most people on the planet are telling you bastards to FO out of there for good. Oh, and Egypt now to do your dirty work? How much will that costs the axis taxpayers, or is Egypt like SA being promised a share of the spoils in the march to Iran? 

Now that the world has a clear picture of what US-UK-Zio foreign policy really is, perhaps more people should start examining what is really going on in other war-torn areas, like in Yemen. 

In reply to by tmosley

OverTheHedge tmosley Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:41 Permalink

?

I think most people would see this insane idea for what it is - a continuation of the mayhem. I particularly like the quote:

 "It has to be strong enough to face down Assad or Iran if either seeks to reclaim territory, perhaps with Russia’s help," said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, referring to the new force.

"If either seek to reclaim territory". Their own sovereign territory.....

There is something to conjure with: the idea that Syria would be better of split into small pieces, with those chunks kept separate by the various neighbours.  Genius move, as the locals will be paying in both blood and treasure. To me, this is just the beginning - explain to Europe that NATO costs have just doubled, and each member needs to pay for the privilege of not having a war zone in their country. It seems like straightforward tribute payment to me: pay to run US policy, or US policy will run over you. It is certainly another way to recycle dollars.

So no. The clown brigade doesn't want the us to be middle East policeman, as you know well. The clown brigade wants the US to fuck off and die, so millions of innocent civilians don't have to die. D'you see?

In reply to by tmosley

Demologos OverTheHedge Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:40 Permalink

Yeah, the US will continue the war and make Europe pay for it. MAGA! Like every other Arab force US taxpayers have trained and funded, it will fail. Syrians are fighting for their children's and family's lives.

Any Arab force inserted into Syria will be identified as the enemy, and upon capture, executed with extreme prejudice. How much pay would you accept to die at the hands of the Syrian Army, Iranian and Iraqi militias, the Turks, and Hezbollah? I like the woodchipper idea a little downthread. Pay per view, with the proceeds going to rebuilding Syria.

This is just another trial balloon like the Arab army the Saudi's were going to put together to fight Assad a couple of years ago. One thing the Egyptians aren't is stupid.

In reply to by OverTheHedge

veritas semper… OverTheHedge Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

The plans were made long time ago :

-PNAC ,1997 which is America's Mein Kampf :t hey offered an eerie prophecy on page 52 of that document about how it might be accomplished, "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor." Their dream of a catalyzing event could not have been better actualized than in the events of 9/11. http://www.antiwar.com/orig/stockbauer1.html ;https://www.newstatesman.com/node/192545 ;http://www.newsofinterest.tv/video_pages_flash/politics/misc_neocon_glo…

-Brzezinski "The grand chessboard" 1997

-Brookings Institute " Which path to Persia" 2009

-Gen Clarke reading the PNAC manifesto: 7 countries in 5 years

-then the new Pearl Harbor created to justify the American invasion

-Bolton was one of the key political appointees in Reagan and Poppy Bush administration  , he is part of the continuity of government , like the Kagan clan ( the REAL GOVERNMENT)

-now , the same neocons( zionists) want to get rid of Mattis ,the mad dog ,as being too moderate

-things are going to escalate , expect it in May , with the 2 main events: the US embassy move to Jerusalem and the US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal ; I think that after these all Hell brakes loose .

 

In reply to by OverTheHedge

JohninMK Took Red Pill Tue, 04/17/2018 - 08:22 Permalink

Wild idea here.

But there is an experienced Arab army just a short distance away, in western Syria, they have proved their ability at eliminating ISIS so could do the job pretty well, plus they wouldn't be an illegal occupying army (can't see a UNSC motion passing on this) as it is their country.

Easy logistics and would save a mountain of dosh!

In reply to by Took Red Pill

lucitanian JohninMK Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:45 Permalink

Exactly, perhaps Assad and his Syrian Arab Army can perfectly well "stabilize", Syria, if countries like the US, Saudi, and the other GCC just kept the hell out, and weren't funding ISIS and the rest. What they call unstable is that Assad has invited Iran and Russia, while Israel and the US don't want Assad to have these kinds of allays and friends. They were counting on Syria breaking up in chaos and staying that way, so that they could concentrate on starting another fire again in Iran.

Who the hell do these delusional asses think they are? It's not over yet, but the longer they don't see sense, the more reality will heart them.

This self appointed global policeman is a crooked racketeer and forger as he prints his own spending money in the protection racket he runs thanks to the petrodollar, but the game is up. The building is burning and surrounded by all the guys who know all the lies and tricks. Time to come out with their hands up.

Never the less, the yellow haired reality TV star would rather take the advice of the more delusional of his gang to support his socipathic megalomania as he yells "never" and comes out shooting. You know how the picture ends......

In reply to by JohninMK

OverTheHedge JohninMK Tue, 04/17/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

"It's a million to one chance, but it might just work"

I see it more as "We can't afford the casualties to do it ourselves, so you will have to do it for us. If you don't, Isis will come to your country, too. Oh, and that will be 5 billion dollars a year consultancy fee - nice doing business with you'all."

The UN no longer serves any useful purpose - they will do what they are told to do.

 

In reply to by JohninMK

veritas semper… Scar Bro Tue, 04/17/2018 - 12:50 Permalink

The Americans have been trying for sometime to form an Arab NATO , including during the Donald administration.

You are right with Egypt , I doubt they will cross Russia and if Sisi is insane , there is going to be a real Arab spring .

Remember that the Donald will move US embassy to Jerusalem in May : this is the death kiss to any Arab coalition he might want ;because even if the leaders would want it , the populations would fight against this.

The zionists surrounding the Donald are not going to let him pull out , even if he wants to ,which I doubt . They want to get rid of Mattis now ,because he prevented a " coherent ME policy and a strong attack" .Imagine Mattis ,the mad dog ,being the voice of reason .

Then ,there is Turkey , the second big army in NATO , which ,for now is still on Russia's side.

In reply to by Scar Bro

DillyDilly Troy Ounce Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:51 Permalink

More Trump bullshit... All he thinks he has to do is say something and he thinks everybody believes its true.

 

When you play 16-D chess against yourself, you always win.

 

You forgot to mention the most hilarious part of this... It means that the war in SYRIA is far from over & this only represents an escalation... We all knew that, but Trumps wants us to believe he's living up to his campaign promises... He's already dropped his pants on that, he's done...

 

Oh ~ & by the way Trump ~ we already have an 'assembled' army in there from various Arab countries... It's called ISIS and it was put together by Hillary & Obama... Apparently ~ they're not doing their job if now there's the need to conscript another set of forces to fight them...

In reply to by Troy Ounce

DillyDilly OverTheHedge Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

" Lot of mother fuckers in here suddenly don't want the US leaving Syria "

 

Say what? NOBODY IS SAYING THAT...

 

Everybody wants out (which is why a lot of people voted for Trump in the first place)... Now they're pissed [at him] because he's doing the opposite of what he campaigned to do...

 

You're the minority that still supports Trump because you believe he's playing some kind of game with his magic TWITTER account that'll get us out... The rest of us all know better, so we're just bracing for the inevitable which you're apparently blind to...

In reply to by OverTheHedge