Iraq: Maliki accuses Saudi Arabia of backing rebels

Iraqi Shiite tribesmen hold rocket propelled grenade launchers as they gather to show their readiness to join Iraqi security forces on June 16 2014

The Iraqi government of embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki blamed Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for an expanding armed uprising led by Islamist militants and tribal forces against his rule.

A statement issued by Maliki’s office accused the kingdom of “siding with terrorism,” adding: “We strongly condemn this stance.”

“We hold it (Saudi Arabia) responsible for what these groups are receiving in terms of financial and moral support.”

It continued: “The Saudi government should be held responsible for the dangerous crimes committed by these terrorist groups.”

Commenting on Maliki’s accusations, Saudi journalist and political commentator Jamal Khashoggi said the embattled Iraqi premier is “desperately seeking to export his crisis to the outside world.”

“Maliki is the one who is responsible for what happened. He is the one who pushed the Sunni people to embrace Islamist militants," Khashoggi said...

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Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf States, Turkey and the USA (and heaven only knows who else) was certainly backing the “rebels” is Syria.  Of that there is no question.  Whether this continued once it became clear that ISIS were raving fanatics is entirely possible.

The Turkish press (Hurriyet, in English) reports that support was quite open: there was a clear border to Syria.  Now, with some eighty Turks held hostage (and a press gag on reporting about it in Turkey), sentiments will have changed.

As for Saudi Arabia, they could well be supporting them to this day.

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