The US should take the lead on the worsening conflict in Syria if it wants to avoid the rise of rebel-backed radical Islamic groups in the Middle East, several Arab leaders have reportedly told Washington over the past few months.
In separate meetings at the White House, officials from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have all expressed concerns about Turkey and Qatar’s alleged funding and supplying of weapons to certain Syrian opposition groups, the Wall Street Journal reports.
That includes those aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al-Nusra Front, a Syrian militia that has been designation as a terrorist organization by the US, the newspaper states:
“We need someone to manage the players” in the region, said a senior Arab official involved in the discussions. “The U.S. and the president are the only ones who can put Qatar in its place.”
…Arab officials said they haven’t pressed Mr. Obama to deploy American troops in Syria or to use U.S. warplanes. Instead, they hope he will play a higher-profile role in seeking to forge a moderate, unified coalition that is purged of “radical” elements that threaten Syrian minorities who might otherwise already have broken with Mr. Assad.
Meanwhile, as all of the Middle East players struggle to unify under one plan to help Syria, the humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. Just last week, UN officials said they do not have enough aid to support Syrians in need after next month.
Credit: Photo courtesy of the White House blog