“Fear drives Saudi Arabia’s new militancy. Part of its challenge is domestic. The extremist terror epitomized by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS has its roots in Saudi Arabia. That terror, inevitably, has begun erupting inside the kingdom itself. Yet because the regime relies for its legitimacy on the blessing of militant clerics, any crackdown can be only half-hearted,” writes Stephen Kinzer for the Boston Globe.
“It is not required that the US send fighters on the ground. This is not what we want. What we want is for Assad to be prevented from targeting civilians and for the [supporters] of the Syrian revolution [i.e. Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia] to be allowed to provide rebels with qualitative weapons. The US supports the Syrian Democratic Forces, which include al-Sanadid Army, one of the regime’s militias,” says FSA legal advisor Osama Abu Zeid, to Al-Monitor.
“Mr. Carter will hold a meeting next month in Brussels with the 27 countries that have participated in the military efforts to defeat the Islamic State. Among those countries that have been invited to the meetings are several Arab ones that had initially participated in the campaign but have since contributed little. Mr. Carter has singled them out, saying that it is time for them to become more involved,” write Michael Schmidt and Helene Cooper for the New York Times.