Syria can only be considered as an “occupied land,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Tuesday during a press meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Faisal described the intervention of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria as dangerous, saying the opposition forces must be offered military help to defend themselves.
“The most dangerous development is the foreign participation, represented by Hezbollah and other militias supported by the forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard,” said Faisal, as quoted by Reuters.
Faisal criticized Syria’s allies, saying there was “no logic” behind Russia providing arms to the Syrian regime.
“The kingdom calls for issuing an unequivocal international resolution to halt the provision of arms to the Syrian regime and states the illegitimacy of the regime,” Faisal said, as quoted by Reuters.
Kerry headed Tuesday to Saudi Arabia in hopes of coordinating support for Syria’s opposition fighters amid fears that a prolonged civil war will embolden extremists.
In addition to meeting the Saudi foreign minister, Kerry will also engage in talks with Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who directs the country’s efforts to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Discussions include the Obama administration’s plans to provide military support to General Salim Idriss of the Supreme Military Council, the Syrian main civilian opposition group’s military arm.
President Barack Obama is cautious about deeper U.S. involvement in the increasingly sectarian conflict but has vowed to step up support for the rebels after concluding that Assad defied warnings and used chemical weapons, according to AFP.
Saudi Arabia has increased its involvement in the Syrian crisis in recent months, providing anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels, among other weapons, according to Reuters.
Last week, Kerry and his European and Arab counterparts met in Doha, agreeing to intensify support for Syrian rebels.
However, the group made no consensus about providing arms, with Italy and Germany strongly opposing the move.
(With AFP and Reuters)