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Independent: New Saudi Military Coalition “Symbolic” not “Substantial”

16 December 2015 15:04



British newspapers focused Tuesday on the new Saudi military coalition announced by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, and its impact on the ongoing events in Syria and Iraq, as well as the impact of the US-led alleged aerial strikes against the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group in Syria and Iraq.

In this regard, the Independent daily said in its editorial that “the anti-terror alliance announced by Saudi Arabia inspires confidence in name only,” noting that it came as a response for the US who has lamented the absence of Sunni Muslim states on the front lines of the fight against ISIL.

It also indicated that “few analysts believe that this new front of 34 Muslim countries will take a lead in confronting the most serious terrorist threat in the region.”

“It is very much a top-down project, led by the Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is seeking to bolster the country’s status as a regional player,” the report in The Independent read.

Moreover, the article expressed wonders about the framework of such new coalition, stating that “there was no conference to lay the groundwork for the new alliance, and no resources have been committed to it by members, ranging from indebted Chad to war-torn Libya.”

The daily pointed out that the US was not informed of the alliance’s creation ahead of time, quoting Prince Bin Salman as saying that the alliance would “not only” target ISIL.

“No plans or strategic objectives were announced. The option is left open to confront political dissent of the kind that threatens many of the alliance’s more despotic members. With so little required from members and so much divergence between them, and with so vague an objective, terrorists have little to fear from Saudi Arabia’s coalition,” the article concluded.

Saudi Arabia has announced Tuesday the formation of a coalition of 34 countries to ‘fight terrorism’ including Gulf states, Egypt and Turkey but excluding Iran, which the Independent believes bespeaks the Saudis’ desire to counter the influence of the Islamic Republic, albeit with 33 other states by their side.

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