Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is pressing Saudi Arabia to act against Assad or face the prospect of a “Shi’ite Crescent” stretching “from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.”
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Khashoggi began this push with a June 15 column in the Saudi daily Al-Hayat.
In that column, Khashoggi wrote:
When the concept “the Shi’ite Crescent” was coined, years ago, it was out of [fear] of a [possible] Iranian expansion through the Arab East. Currently, following the major defeat sustained by the countries of the region in the battle for [the Syrian city] of Al-Qusayr…the Shi’ite Crescent is about to become an ambitious political axis extending from Tehran to Beirut, via Baghdad and Damascus.
Khashoggi stressed that in light of these things, Saudi Arabia must act against Assad with or without U.S. help. He said that to do otherwise is to “allow an Iranian victory in Syria.”
Here are Khashhoggi’s exact words:
The security of Saudi Arabia is currently in the balance, and therefore it has no option but to take action, even [if it has to act] alone. It would be best if the U.S. joined a coalition headed by Saudi Arabia, whose objective would be to depose Bashar and restore Syria to the bosom of the Arab [world], but this would not constitute a precondition for action. Saudi Arabia should lead anyone who is prepared to join it.
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