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Published On: Mon, Feb 10th, 2014

Saudi Royal Family calls Saudi Fighters in Syria to come home via Turkey

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The Royal Family of Saudi Arabia has issued an official declaration, inviting all Saudi citizens who are fighting in Syria to leave the country and to return home via Turkey.

SAIDI_ARABIA_FLAGThe Turkish Aydinlik Daily reports that the Saudi Embassy in Turkey has made an official statement on behalf of the Saudi Royal Family offering Saudi citizens, who are involved in the fighting in Syria, all possible services for their return via Turkey.

The newspaper quotes the Saudi Embassy statement as inviting all Saudi citizens who are seeking to return home, to apply to the Saudi Embassy in Turkey any time they choose, adding that the Saudi government will provide every assistance to the returning militants.

Aydinlik Daily quotes the Saudi Ambassador to Turkey, Adel Merdad, as announcing that Saudi citizens in Syria would be provided with every form of assistance in procuring accomodation and tickets by the embassy. The announcement came only a day before the second round of talks of the Geneva II conference on Syria.

Although the announcement can give the impression of a Saudi concession with regards to the war on Syria, to which it has been one of the primary providers of international mercenary forces, weapons and funding, the statement is not expected to have much other than political significance.

The majority of Saudi funded, armed and commanded mercenaries in Syria who are fighting the Syrian government have been recruited from the African Maghreb, Iraq, Lebanon, Chechnya and other Russian – Caucasian republics, Palestine, Egypt, other Arab countries as well as a number of Asian countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. Saudi Arabia has both Special Forces as well as high-profile intelligence assets deployed in Syria.

This includes, among many other, the supreme commander of the Liwa-al-Islam, Zaran Alloush, who has been reported as being the commander who gave the order to deploy chemical weapons against the East Ghouta district of the Syrian capital Damascus on 21 August 2013, and who has been working for Saudi intelligence since the 1980s.

Short of a public declaration that announces an end to the Saudi funding of Syria mercenaries and transparency about it, as well as a call on Saudi nationals to cease participating in the illegal aggression against Syria immediately, the ambassador’s statement is not likely to have much other effect than being a moderate sign of goodwill before the second round of the Geneva II talks on 10 February at best.

Ch/L – nsnbc 10.02.2014

Read more news, analysis and opinion about Saudi Arabia and Syria in the Middle East section of nsnbc international.

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at

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