You have Syrian blood on your hands: Syria blames Saudi for conflict
The Syrian government has accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorists, shortly after Riyadh condemned Damascus for using Lebanese Hezbollah troops in the Syrian civil war.
Damascus has previously spoken out on the Sunni Gulf states and their alliance with the United States and the European countries who back the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime forces.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Al Zoubi slammed Saudi hours after during meetings with US Secretary of State, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal accused the Assad regime of "genocide" and condemned its use of Shiite Hezbollah fighters in the conflict.
Zoubi was quoted by SANA, the Syrian state-run news agency, as calling Saudi Arabia responsible for the Syrian crisis as it provides money and backing to "terrorists", Damascus' term for those fighting against Assad, AP reported.
Accusing Saudi officials of having blood on their hands, Zoubi added that Saudi Arabia is "trembling in fear of the victories of the Syrian army", AP reported.
The presence of Hezbollah fighters in Syria has become a contentious issue as they were a crucial element in the regime's success in toppling the strategic town of Qusayr earlier in June. With the Syrian army being propped up by Hezbollah, those who oppose Assad are outnumbered.
The now 27-month old Syrian civil war began as a peaceful protest again Assad and quickly became an armed conflict after Assad's regime used the army to crack down on protests.
Sectarian politics have crept into the conflict. The rebel forces are largely comprised of Sunni Muslims, whilst Assad's regime is made up of Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam that the President himself belongs to.
Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia is a key ally for the US in region and is ideologically opposed to Tehran - the Iran and Saudi consider themselves 'enemies'. Tehran, where Shiites are dominant, supports Assad.
As of yet, all international efforts to bring the Syrian rebels and the regime together at the negotiating table have failed. Earlier this week, Syrian foreign minister stated that Assad would not cede power in the face of an international peace conference, a key request from the rebels.