Saudi King cancels holiday due to 'events in the region'
Saudi King Abdullah (File photo)
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King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia cut his holiday in Morocco short and returned to Jeddah on Friday “due to the repercussions of the events that are currently taking place in the region,” the state news agency SPA reported.
These events are understood to inlude the American decision to provide military support for the Syiran opposition.
The United States’ announcement on Thursday was seen as a major shift in the Obama’s administration’s policy towards the Syrian crisis.
Senior U.S. officials have refused to elaborate on the kind of military aid Washington plans to offer the Syrian opposition forces.
Such military aid is classified and may be funneled to select Syrian rebels forces in a covert mission by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Associated Press reported.
“We do want to be responsive to the requests that have been made by the SMC and General Idris, consistent with our own national interests,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, referring to rebel military leader Selim Idris, according to the Associated Press.
Saudi Arabia has consistently called for arming the Syrian opposition. The kingdom has stepped up its diplomatic efforts to convince Western powers to take firm stances on Syria following recent advances by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, backed by Hezbollah and Iranian troops.