Gulf officials, tired of waiting for U.S., move to boost aid to Syrian rebels

The Washington Post reports: Gulf officials emphasized that the U.S.-Saudi relationship, spanning eight decades since the kingdom’s founding, is based on a range of issues, including energy, counterterrorism, military ties, trade and investment, that remain important to both.

Any major attempt at outside intervention in Syria on behalf of the opposition would be limited without the participation of U.S. equipment, personnel, and command and control. Although France, for example, shares some of the Saudi concerns and the French defense minister met with King Abdullah and discussed major new defense contracts in Riyadh early this month, the United States’ partners in Europe have long expressed reluctance to intervene in Syria without a mandate from the United Nations or NATO.

In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron’s support for the U.S. strike option being prepared this summer was abandoned when Parliament voted against any participation.

Turkey, a NATO partner that has long protested what it sees as Obama’s tepid Syria policy, has branched off on its own in terms of support for the rebels. Although the administration has long described Iranian support for Assad as crucial to the Syrian president’s survival, foreign ministers from Turkey and Iran met in Ankara last week to voice their shared concerns about the increasingly sectarian nature of the war. [Continue reading…]

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