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Revealed: Saudi's MBS pushed Russia to intervene in Syria conflict, despite supporting opposition

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Buenos Aires, on 30 November 2018 [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images]
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Buenos Aires, on 30 November 2018 [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman reportedly encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to militarily intervene in the Syrian conflict, official documents related to a former Saudi intelligence chief have claimed.

According to the lawsuit filed to US courts by former Saudi intelligence chief Saad Al-Jabri against the crown prince, Al-Jabri participated in two official meetings with the former CIA Director John Brennan in 2015.

In one of those meetings around the month of July, the pair discussed Bin Salman’s recent communication with Putin and Brennan, raising concerns of his alleged encouragement of Russia to intervene in Syria. When Al-Jabri reported back and relayed Brennan’s message to the crown prince, he reportedly “responded with fury” at the topic.

By the following month, Al-Jabri and Brennan held another meeting in which the CIA director told him that the agency could not afford to lose him after he resigned in protest against Saudi’s intervention in Yemen that year.

In September, Russia began its military manoeuvres into Syria in support of President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

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The ground-breaking revelation was detailed in the same lawsuit in which it was revealed that the crown prince had sent a Saudi hit team to Canada, where Al-Jabri lives in exile, in order to assassinate him. The hit team, made up of Bin Salman’s personal group of Saudi mercenaries, named the ‘Tiger Squad’, were detected and intercepted by airport border security while trying to enter the Canadian city of Toronto in mid-October 2018.

That attempted mission was hardly two weeks after the exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi agents in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, which drew international outrage and left Saudi Arabia and its crown prince in the spotlight.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s reported encouragement of Russia’s ongoing military intervention in the Syrian conflict in 2015 marks a prominent turn in the kingdom’s foreign policy initiative within the war-torn country, in which it first supported some of the Syrian opposition groups. That change coincides, however, with the crown prince and his father King Salman’s rise to power following the death of former King Abdullah, after which the Gulf nation took an outwardly neutral stance towards the conflict.

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Asia & AmericasCanadaEurope & RussiaMiddle EastNewsRussiaSaudi ArabiaSyriaUSYemen
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