Syria — A Bloody Killing Field, but also a Vacuum for Saudi Arabia and Others to Try to Fill

Saudi Arabia is recruiting Yemenite mercenaries and sending them to help opposition forces fighting to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Western intelligence sources say the operation is being organized by the Kingdom’s general intelligence service, headed by the former Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin-Sultan.

The Paris-based Intelligence on Line reports that in its latest internet posting.

According to the story, hundreds of Yemenite migrant workers (in Saudi Arabia), whose visas have expired, are being offered military training and pay in order to help out the rebels in the Free Syrian Army. They are also being promised that upon their return from Syria, they will be allowed to work in Saudi Arabia once again.

Their training is being provided by army and intelligence officers of the Pakistani intelligence service, SIS, which is known to have good ties with Saudi intelligence. The operation is being coordinated with the CIA, and American intelligence officers are also involved in training members of the Free Syrian Army in camps in Jordan.

The Yemenite mercenaries are crossing into Syria from Turkey, whose intelligence services are also privy to the clandestine operation. The recruitment of the Yemenites is intended to provide a counterweight to the assistance that the Syrian regime is getting from Iran, Shiite militias in Iraq, and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

Saudi Arabia is the leading provider of aid to the opposition in Syria, sending weapons and money. While Saudi authorities are comfortable with religious Muslim fighters, the Saudis — like the Americans and their partners — are trying not to strengthen extremists who were sent or financed by al-Qaeda.

July 26, 2013

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