UAE, Saudi Arabia dispatch troops to east of the Euphrates in Syria
MİDDLE EAST

UAE, Saudi Arabia dispatch troops to east of the Euphrates in Syria

Recent developments indicate that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leaning toward cooperating with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

News Service Yeni Şafak

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia allegedly dispatched troops to Syria’s northeast, which is occupied by the PKK/YPG terror group. The soldiers are purportedly stationed with the U.S.-led coalition.

Although there is no estimate of how many troops were posted from the two Gulf countries, the claim comes at a time when Turkey could launch an operation targeting the east of the Euphrates at any given moment.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in late October that Turkey had completed preparations for operations on the eastern side of Euphrates River.

“We will trample on terror groups with more effective operations. We have finished all our preparations and plans regarding the issue," Erdoğan said.

Saudi FM confirms Arab force

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed in April a report published in the Wall Street Journal saying that U.S. troops in Syria could be replaced by an Arab force. Jubeir said Riyadh was in talks with Washington about such a force.

“We are in discussion with the U.S. and have been since the beginning of the Syrian crisis about sending forces into Syria,” Jubeir said on Apr. 17.

“There are discussions regarding ... what kind of force needs to remain in eastern Syria and where that force would come from, and those discussions are ongoing,” he added.

In August, Riyadh pledged $100 million to northeastern Syria, which is occupied by the Kurdistan workers’ Party (PKK) to rebuild and stabilize the area.

Cooperation with Assad

Recent developments indicate that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leaning toward cooperating with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has massacred millions of his own citizens.

Last week, the UAE said it was negotiating the reopening of its embassy in Damascus and restoring ties with Syria.

Pro-Syrian regime news outlet al-Masdar recently reported that Saudi Arabia and Syria were working through back channels with the UAE’s help to reach political conciliation.

Furthermore, there are claims that the UAE seeks to include the Syrian regime in the Arab force.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others were displaced, according to UN officials.

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