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Saudi Arabia and ’Israel’: An Alliance of Convenience

Saudi Arabia – The victory achieved in Aleppo divides the course of the Syrian war into two phases: the before and after. It is accurate to say that Turkey has been directly impacted by the expulsion of the terrorists from Aleppo. However, another strategic defeat -that the thousands of Daesh militants who occupied Palmyra along the eastern front, failed to make up for – has been added to Saudi Arabia’s list of losses in Syria.

israel-saudiarabiaWhile the residents of Aleppo celebrate the ejection of the multinational terrorist force that was loyal to the agendas of numerous players in the conflict spanning a period of four years, those behind the liberation of the city are awaiting the American – Turkish – Gulf reaction to the Syrian- Russian- Iranian blow in the most sensitive of areas for the anti-Syria axis.

The Americans offered a demonstration in what to except during the initial preparations for the Aleppo battle, which was to be countered through maneuvers in eastern Syria. This is a region that the US-led coalition against Daesh uses as its theater of operations. From here, the coalition would begin the practical implementation of its response by facilitating the return of Daesh to Palmyra through Mosul via Deir Ezzour and Raqqa.

Meanwhile, Turkey remains preoccupied with its quest to integrate the city of Al Bab into its sphere of influence while hoping to shore-up the ranks of its “Euphrates Shield” forces using fleeing militants from Aleppo. However, the Saudis, who are facing defeat in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, are focused on more strategic essentials especially after their bet on Hillary Clinton winning the White House failed to pay-off. Instead, the new US administration will be led by Donald Trump, who is known to the Saudis for his dubious stances.

Will the Saudi bet on “Israel” pays-off?

The Saudis are studying overall strategies and not simply interim tactics. For example, Riyadh is financing Ahrar Al Sham and urging a number of other factions to integrate or unite with the terrorist movement. This comes as Saudi “friendly territory” in Syria has been drastically shrunk following the loss of Aleppo. In addition, terrorist groups funded by Saudi Arabia have lost a great deal of military equipment.

The Saudis are also not guaranteeing the expected results from the accumulation of various armed terrorist groups in Idlib. Instead, Riyadh is now anticipating a war between the different factions duet to ideological and political differences on the one hand and the clash of priorities among the group’s foreign backers on the other. Among these foreign backers is Turkey, which controls – by virtue of geography – the direction and fate of the armed factions, serving as Ankara’s a bargaining chip at the negotiating table.

The Saudis are not embarrassed about moving their relationship with “Israel” to a higher level, publicizing and normalizing ties. The revelation by “Israel’s” chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Herzi Halevi, late last month, confirming that the Zionist entity’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has improved, did not come out of thin air. Halevi stated that the entity and the “Sunni countries have common interests,” adding that it is “a great opportunity for “Israel”.”

Comments by Salman Al Ansari, the founder of the Committee on the Saudi Arabia-US affairs, expressing the depth of the Saudi need for “Israel” came prior to Halevi’s comments. In his article in “The Hill”, Al Ansari called for an alliance between Riyadh and Tel Aviv. Due to the “common regional interests”, he pointed out that “Israel” is in a position that allows it to help Saudi Arabia, adding that the alliance with “Israel” does not only serve the interests of the two countries, but also the Middle East and the international allies of “Israel” and Saudi Arabia.

Al Ansari did not name Saudi Arabia’s allies. Of course, the Saudis have unannounced allies, flooding the warzones in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Those, too, are the allies of “Israel”. Al Ansari said that his country’s “neighbor “Israel”” shares the same fears as Saudi Arabia, and has a common enemy – Iran.

Coordination between the Saudis and the Zionists existed prior to the visits by the former general in the Saudi intelligence Anwar Ashqi to the occupied territories and his secret and public meetings with Zionist leaders. But these visits are expected to be frequent at this stage in particular. The Saudis believed that by throwing themselves into the arms of the Zionist, they are compensating for the possible icy relationship with Washington during the rule of Trump. The excessive Saudi interest in the relationship with Britain is part of re-arranging the external cards to ensure the preservation of the Saudi position in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia’s understanding of the word “status” is hegemony and the ability to tamper with the stability of the countries that oppose the Kingdom’s aspirations. Riyadh believes that “Israel” is able to maintain this status, as long as it has the same targets as Saudi Arabia: Iran, Syria and Hizbullah. In the context of its open war against this axis, Saudi Arabia has long saved “Israel” a lot of effort and money without the existence of an official alliance or mutually stated benefits between the two. Today, there are those in Saudi Arabia who ask: what is stopping us from fulfilling the desire of “Israel” and publicizing our relationship with them since we are now facing the same enemies together with the same tools … and waiting for the same fate?

Hamza Khansa

Source: Al-Ahed News

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