Russia will 'fail to save' Syria's Assad: Saudi FM

Published: February 14, 2016
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir. FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir. FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Sunday that Russia’s efforts to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not succeed in keeping him in power.

Jubeir told a press conference in Riyadh that previous efforts to prop up Assad, including by Iran, had “failed”.

“Now, (Assad) has sought the help of Russia, which will fail to save him,” he said, urging Moscow to “end its air operations against the moderate Syrian opposition.”

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Russia, Assad’s closest ally alongside Iran, began conducting airstrikes in September, targeting mainly rebels backed by the West, according to US officials.

Analysts believe that Russia’s military intervention in Syria has given Assad a new lease of life and has also deeply alarmed the West.

But Jubeir, whose country is among the main Syrian opposition backers, said that “it is impossible for a man behind the killing of 300,000 innocent people… to remain” in power.

Assad’s departure “is a matter of time… sooner or later, this regime will fall, opening the way for building a new Syria without Bashar al-Assad,” said Jubeir.

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He urged the Syrian regime to “immediately allow the entry of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Syria, end military attacks on innocent civilians… (and) begin a political transition in Syria.”

A 17-nation Syria Support Group, co-chaired by Russia and the United States, agreed on Friday to seek a “cessation of hostilities” within a week and dramatically ramp up humanitarian access to besieged towns.

Critics have said the deal is hobbled by the fact it does not include “terrorist” groups such as the Islamic State group and the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra, leaving room for Russia to continue attacks by claiming it is targeting jihadists.

The agreement followed a major offensive by Syrian government forces, backed by heavy Russian bombing and Iranian troops, on the rebel stronghold of Aleppo.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Khalid B
    Feb 14, 2016 - 5:57PM

    Najoomi Jubeir has not told us whether Saudi Arabia can be saved given that the trend in oil prices is set to continue for the foreseeable future. SA needs oil to be upwards of $100 to balance its budget.Recommend

  • Akbar
    Feb 14, 2016 - 7:49PM

    What a joke. Saudi talks of moderate groups?Recommend

  • abreez
    Feb 14, 2016 - 7:56PM

    Pakistan should prepare itself for more embassies in Islamabad, sooner or later.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Feb 14, 2016 - 10:47PM

    Pah !!! Whos fighting whom there ? I for one , have lost the plot . Recommend

  • lala1
    Feb 15, 2016 - 12:12AM

    It happens only when your ego and anger overwhelms your capacity. Recommend

  • Karrar
    Feb 15, 2016 - 12:15AM

    This man has got the toughest job in the world. He has to make the world believe in the most arrogant yet silly aspirations of his Government and much of his counterpart in defence ministry.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Feb 15, 2016 - 3:13AM

    Mr. Jubeir you want to make a new Syria like you helped in making new Libya. You also said that that humanitarian assistance be allowed immediately in Syria. Did you allow any assistance to reach Yemen except your bombs dropped on Yemen on hourly basis. Please do not deceive the world and come out of your shellRecommend

  • Iqbal Afghan
    Feb 15, 2016 - 6:29AM

    This dude is a joke… He is too young and have no idea what he is talking about. Just opening his mouth and keeps talking and talking. LOLRecommend

  • Hassan
    Feb 15, 2016 - 8:52AM

    A very positive statement .. Just because of Iran and Russia , we had million of refugees dispersed all over the world . It’s time for Assad and his followers to pack up their bags Recommend

  • Farru
    Feb 15, 2016 - 3:32PM

    From where i see things, Asad is stronger today then he was in last four years. So who is successful until now, Saudis or Russia?Recommend

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