Saudi Arabia announced on Friday that it is planning to supply the moderate Syrian opposition with surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), AlKhaleej.com has reported. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir made the announcement during an interview with the Germany weekly Der Spiegel; his comments were then reported widely by other media outlets.
“We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground,” he told Der Spiegel. “It will allow the moderate opposition groups to neutralise the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals and have been carpet-bombing them.” He noted that something similar happened previously in Afghanistan.
Al-Jubeir repeated his calls for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad “to step down in order to enable a political solution to the five-year-long war.” He suggested that Russian interference does not help the Assad regime in the long term.