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    ISIS militants captured by Syrian security services

    Saudi Coalition Needed for Riyadh's Survival, but Could Turn Against Iran

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    The creation of the Saudi-led "Islamic coalition against terrorism" is necessary for survival of Saudi Arabia, as Daesh has now become a problem for the kingdom, which has financed a number of radical movements in the region; however, the alliance may set its sights on Iran after dealing with Daesh, according to Middle East experts.

    Saudi Arabia has long been financing various radical movements in the Middle East and has been creating Islamist schools in the region, Angel Saz-Carranza, Director of Spain's ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics told RIA Novosti.

    Now, the expert says, the Saudi royal government understands that Daesh (also known as ISIL/ISIS) is a bigger problem than anticipated, and threatens its survival.

    However, Saz-Carranza adds, the activity of the recently created coalition might not be limited only to the fight against Daesh. He does not rule out that after they are done with the jihadists, they may shift gears and attack Iran and its coalition.

    However, the political analyst has called the creation of the coalition a “positive step”, as there is a need of an Arab coalition to fight Daesh.

    Moreover, he added, it should consist of the Sunni states because Daesh is a Sunni group and the confrontation shouldn't principally be between Daesh and the Shiites.

    His view was echoed by Félix Arteaga, Professor of European Security at the Spanish Elcano Royal Institute.

    ISIS militants captured by Syrian security services
    © Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov
    ISIS militants captured by Syrian security services

    He also does not rule out the possibility that the activity of the Arab coalition might go beyond the fight against Daesh.

    “Saudi Arabia has announced that its primarily purpose is to fight against terrorism. But what do they mean by terrorism? A number of jihadist groups which the international community regards as terrorists are viewed by some Arab countries as an 'internal opposition'. So the term 'terrorism' is quite open-ended,” he told RIA Novosti.

    “An operation in Bahrain shows that military intervention could be used to establish control over the situation within the country and secure the stability for the monarchies of the Persian Gulf. These secondary goals can’t be excluded. And it depends on the political conjuncture where to use such a military intervention,” he added.

    Arteaga reminded that the Muslim countries have already attempted to create similar coalitions and used the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen as an example.

    “These coalitions, which are always led by Saudi Arabia, are in theory fighting [extremist militants], but they are clearly aimed at just having military capabilities of a joint opposition against Iran and pro-Iranian groups,” he said.

    The expert said that in future such a coalition might lead to creation of collective forces for the Arab world to engage in defense, attacks or self-protection.

    On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an "Islamic coalition against terrorism." The coalition includes 34 nations from across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and will be coordinated from a command center in Riyadh.


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    Middle East, anti-Daesh coalition, Saudi-led coalition, terrorism threat, coalition, Daesh, Islamic State's West Africa Province (ISWAP), Iran, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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