SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-Syrian media has criticized certain Arab governments for giving Washington prior agreement for military action against radical groups which are widely reported to be operating inside Syria and Iraq with support of Saudi Arabia and the US itself.
The commentary comes ahead of talks in Saudi Arabia on Thursday between Secretary of State John Kerry and US regional allies on joint action to tackle the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).
“Washington, which used the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction to enter the region militarily in 2003 and draw new geopolitical lines… is returning today under a new false pretext, the fight against terrorism,” said the Al-Baath newspaper.
“The Arabs meanwhile, are absent from every decision and are playing secondary roles,” it added.
The Baath party daily was referring to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 in which notoriously the alleged chemical and biological weapons that were used to justify the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime were never found.
Kerry is set to meet foreign ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and the six Persian Gulf Arab states in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
The talks are part of US efforts to build a coalition to tackle ISIL, which has seized large tracts of territory in both Syria and Iraq, and carried out abuses including the decapitation of Syrians, Iraqis, Lebanese and two American journalists.
On Sunday, the Arab League pledged to take “necessary measures” to confront ISIL, and said it was ready for “international cooperation on all fronts.”
State-run newspaper Al-Thawra warned: “The United States is setting the stage to bring new wars to the region.”
“Its local partners are ready to carry out its orders without even knowing the details of the American plan,” it added.
Daily Tishrin questioned why Kerry and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel were coming to the region “when the Arab League has already given its prior agreement for a new war in the region organized by the United States.”
Critics opposed to US involvement in the conflict with ISIL have pointed out that Washington in partnership with its regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, played a role in the formation and expansion of extremist groups like ISIL by arming, financing and politically empowering armed opposition groups in Syria.
On Monday, a study by the London-based small-arms research organization Conflict Armament Research revealed that ISIL is using US military issue arms and weapons supplied to the so-called moderate rebels in Syria.