Saudis want to turn Syria into ‘graveyard for minorities’

John Wight
John Wight has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.
Saudis want to turn Syria into ‘graveyard for minorities’
Saudi Arabia is trying to unite radical extremist rebel forces fighting in Syria after US rapprochement with Iran, with the aim to create a regional “graveyard” for both Muslim and non-Muslim minorities, journalist John Wight told RT.

RT:The reports coming in have beenharrowing: 80 people killed, many burned in ovens and used as human shields. You have contacts on the ground in Syria - is the situation as bad as it sounds?

John Wight: Yes it very much is as bad as it sounds. What we are seeing is as the Syrian army enjoys increasing success on the ground against the rebels and taking back a series of towns, in particular surrounding Damascus, the main highway connecting Damascus to Latakia in the North, the rebels are growing ever more desperate following the scorched-earth policy which lays bare their objective of turning the country into a graveyard both for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This obviously makes it all the more imperative that they are defeated. And adding weight to this particular atrocity is the announcement just recently made by the British and US governments that they have ceased what they describe as a non-lethal aid to the Free Syrian Army. This is a clear acknowledgement that what we are seeing is not a revolution in any meaningful sense, this is an invasion by Islamists and Sunni fundamentalists, sponsored and funded by Saudi Arabia.

RT:Mainstream media hasn’t picked up these reports, focusing instead on the alleged government assault in Aleppo where 70 people including children were killed. Are the rebel atrocities being deliberately ignored?

JW: Yes, because it would embarrass both the British and the American governments and their liberal supporters in the West who tried to support the rebels as much as they can, even in face of the undeniable evidence that these rebels, as I say, are part of an attempt to turn not only the country but an entire region into a graveyard for minorities – Muslim and non- Muslim - on the way to turning the clock back to the seventh century.

Syrians look at the bomb damage allegedly caused by pro-government forces in a neighborhood held by rebel forces in the northern city of Aleppo on December 16, 2013. (AFP Photo / Mohammed Al-Khatieb)

The British government’s policy in Syria up to now has been an absolute disaster, when you consider that only a handful of MPs held the line between Britain engaging in military action recently after the chemical weapons attack on the eastern suburb of Damascus in Ghouta in September. I really think there needs to be a public inquiry into how we came so close in effectively acting in Syria as Al-Qaeda’s air force, along with our US counterparts.

It is interesting that Senator John McCain, the US hawk who led the charge for taking action in Syria, is now in Kiev, stirring up trouble there. Senator McCain clearly belongs to the ‘Yee-haw’ school of US foreign policy - where the world, in all its complexities and challenges, it is reduced to a John Wayne movie. So these are the people we’re up against. The danger for us is not so much the rebels on the ground who are being heroically resisted and defeated as I speak by the Syrian army and its allies, but these politicians who are in charge of our foreign policy. This is quite staggering.

RT:Jihadi groups have united and created the so-called Islamic Front. Are we seeing a real consolidation of forces here? And what impact could it have on the conflict?

Well the consolidation is being driven by Riyadh who now has stepped into the breach. The Saudis are clearly unhappy with Washington’s policy of conciliation towards Iran and the fact that they turned back from mounting a full military intervention in Syria as I’ve just mentioned. So they have now stepped into the breach, and they obviously believe that they can fund its insurgency for many, many years with their huge resources. So this is driven, as I say, from Riyadh. They want a consolidation of forces that is basically controlled by them from their capital.