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    A fighter jet flies close to the border in Syrian air space as seen from Turkey's Oncupinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis, Turkey, February 9, 2016

    Royals and Rebels: Will Riyadh's Missiles Aim for Russian Jets in Syria?

    © REUTERS/ Osman Orsal
    Middle East
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    Saudi Arabia seems to be so desperate to topple Syrian President Assad that it is prepared to supply surface-to-air missiles to Islamist Syrian militants to achieve the purpose; however, the German media suggests that Russian aircraft will be the actual target.

    Saudi Arabia has announced it is ready to supply surface-to-air missiles to the Syrian rebels in order “to change the balance of power on the ground” and “to allow the 'moderate opposition' to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft.”

    The German media, however, suggests these will be used against Russia, as it is mostly Russian aircraft operating there.

    “We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground. It will allow the moderate opposition to be able to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals and have been carpet-bombing them, just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview with German Spiegel.

    However, another German outlet, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, suggests that the minister’s reference to the “moderate opposition” is a pure euphemism, because the militant groups on the ground are, in fact, being remotely operated by global or regional powers and act in cooperation with such terrorist organizations as the Al-Nusra Front.

    These military groups are being supported by the US and Saudi Arabia in their fight against President Assad, it says, adding that these missiles will, in actuality, be used against the Assad government and Russian warplanes, the latter of which are playing the most active role in the country's air campaign.

    Meanwhile, the top Saudi diplomat clearly specified that his country's final aim is to topple Syria's legitimate president and “Russia will not save him.”

    “In the long term, it will be a Syria without Bashar Assad,” he told Spiegel. “The longer it takes, the worse it will get.”

    “We warned when the crisis began in 2011 that unless it was resolved quickly, the country would be destroyed. Unfortunately, our warnings are coming true,” he added.

    Adel al-Jubeir reiterated that Riyadh is also prepared to invade Syria with ground troops, as long as the US-led coalition gives the go-ahead.

    “The air campaign started, but it became very obvious that there may have to be a ground component. Saudi Arabia has said that if the US-led coalition against Daesh is prepared to engage in ground operations, we will be prepared to participate with special forces,” he stated.

    Related:

    Sweet Dream? Saudi Arabia Mulls Removing Syria’s Assad by Force
    Saudi Arabia to Send Jets to Turkish Base for Air Missions in Syria
    Political Bluff? Why Saudi Arabia Will Not Invade Syria
    All About Russia? Why Turkey, Saudi Arabia Consider Sending Troops to Syria
    Tags:
    surface-to-air missiles, ousting, toppling, regime change, ground military operation, Daesh, Russian Aerospace Forces, Al-Nusra Front, Bashar al-Assad, Adel al-Jubeir, Syria, Russia, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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    • ivanwa88
      When a moderate slices a head off does he say I was being very moderate today if it was ISIS it would have been 10!
      So we should change our moral compass now to conveniently accommodate part time butchers as against full time head-choppers! give me a break....there are no moderates in Syria.
    • anne00marie
      They will not what hits them if they try and take a Russia jet out, over Syrian territory. Now who was invited by the elected head of state of a sovereign nation and who was not? Is the Qatar to Europe Pipeline, really that important?
    • vendorin reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
      anne00marie, it is not a matter to show off the force once someone has attacked you rather it is a matter of doing it as a preventative measure against any potential and unnecessary losses. Why would you wait to cop the first punch and then retaliate. Do it before you cop a blow.

      Ah I love these martyr nations!
    • ivanwa88
      If you turn your people against you by rushing into war you have lost before you start! It is a good thing you are not a Field Marshall! I have two in my ancestry. One was hated for that very sin!
    • armorin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      Don't you see that it is PRECISELY what 'they' are waiting : A HEAVY, POWERFUL, SHOCKING attack on , say, Raqqa, and THEN, that's the excuse for them to attack. They need a fairly good excuse....it's a trap the Russians won't fall into. Pres. Putin, we trust you entirely. In any case, furthermore, it just happens that it is Russia who is in the driving seat, largely. They will decide , when they judge the moment is right, to act. This situation being, in my humble view, unique, then no false move can be done. God bless and guide those responsible for re-establishing peace and order in Syria.
    • vendorin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
      ivanwa88, The war commenced 4 years ago!
    • vendorin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
      armor, no I do not see it that way. Who are they (as the US led coalition) going to defend? Raqqa is ISIS and that is where everything stops. Raqqa can be levelled to the ground. Let anyone critique the Russians then. The war would end in a jiffy.
    • vendorin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
      armor, you as "we" trust in Putin?!? Am I talking to more than one person here? Are you someone's representative? I speak in my name only! And no, I do not trust any politician, including Putin.
    • pbecke
      Will Riyadh's missiles aim for Russian jets in Syria ?

      I doubt if I'm alone in thinking that that would be unwise.
    • ivanwa88
      Ah! the so called civil war? no war has been declared! when Turkey invades then war can be declared! to level Raqqa could cost a million lives! and don't think for one moment you would or could push the button! your alter-ego could but only in make believe!
      Yes you are living your life passionately through Sputnik like many of us? what makes it real? is keeping it real! otherwise we join the delusional ranks of Obama and McCain and Co.
    • armorin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
      I do not know how your mind works, I do not understand it. And you do not trust Pres. Putin? I do not know what you are doing on this site. When , occasionally, I use "we", it's a natural thing as I know that there are MANY, many readers supporting Pres. Putin. Who are you really? You are not what you appear to be. Having said that, we will carry on reading Sputnik to whom goes our thanks.
    • cmat.wolfgang
      Now, that's what I feared already all the time.
      It will be a proxy war against Russia like in 1980 in Afghanistan.
      Whenever Turkish and Sauidi troops cross the border Putin and Lawrow must decide whther they will risk WW3 or withdraw their troops and give Assad and his inner circle refuge in Russia.
      Actually that will not a win-win situation for the US and NATO. When DAESH wins we will be flooded in Europe with refugees.
    • danielmartin516
      This idiot must have missed the part when Putin clearly stated that Russia would use tactical nuclear wepons if any part of the Russian armed forces where to be threatened in Syria.
    • Dan
      Russia should prepare to provide its latest surface-to-air missiles to the Houthis in Yemen, just in case....
    • ariavd
      If they atacc ,they loose, if not ,they loose..!!
    • dna1991
      The US has already got its name blemished when it associates itself with the only country in the world which has institutionalize beheading. That means the US is the representation of Satan and Hilary will be the prostitute who will rule the world at the end till God destroy the US, which is the land of prostitutes.
    • ariavd
      The coalisjon need a show up on their veapons, or bust!!
    • vendorin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
      armor, do not make me laugh. I do not need to serve Putin nor be in the Russian government nor be a Russian to be on this website. I can be on any website I bloody want or choose. And yes, I do not care whether you like Putin or every Russian politician or not. I do not. Apart from Lavrov but he is a diplomat. If you can not stick to the topic please do not discuss me as I am not the subject here. Comprende?
    • vendorin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
      ivanwa88, yet another personal attack. Grow up!
    • armor
      We see the comments in 'Sputnik' and some of us like to respond or comment. That's all.
      You are certainly not the subject of discussion, agree 100%.
      It is already Sunday for you: have a great day.
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