Trump Requested $4bln from Saudi King over Syria, Report Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A recent report suggests that US President Donald Trump asked Saudi King Salman for $4 billion to push ahead with its destructive and destabilizing policies in Syria.
The request by Trump was made in December in a phone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
According to the Washington Post on Friday, Trump had an idea he thought could hasten a US exit from Syria.
The White House wanted money from the kingdom and other nations to help rebuild and stabilize the parts of Syria that the US military and its local allies have liberated from Daesh, the newspaper reported.
The post-war goal was to “prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian partners from claiming the areas, or (Daesh) from regrouping, while US forces finish mopping up the militants.”
The Islamic Republic has been successfully lending military advisory support to the Syrian government in its counter-terrorism operations against multiple foreign-backed militants wreaking havoc in the Arab state.
Russia also started lending its airpower to Damascus’ operations in September 2015.
The two have also been mediating talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups towards finding a political solution to the crisis.
“By the end of the call, according to US officials, the president believed he had a deal,” the paper said.
It said Riyadh acknowledges that it partly shares Washington’s goals “particularly that of limiting Assad’s power and rolling back Iran’s influence.”
After Israel, Saudi Arabia is the US’s biggest regional ally. Trump visited the kingdom in May in his first foreign trip, signing $110 billion worth of arms deals with Riyadh.
Over the past two years, Syria and its allies have been making great strides against the militants, reclaiming one turf after the other.
The paper said, “The increasing likelihood of an Assad victory in the civil war has left many US policymakers and lawmakers aghast and the US mission in Syria jumbled and confused.”
Last December, Russia’s military chief said militants, including those with the Daesh terror group, were receiving training at US bases in Syria, adding that the terrorists had been instructed to “destabilize” the Arab country.
On March 1, a top Russian security official said the US had set up around 20 military bases in areas controlled by Kurdish militants it supports in northern Syria.
In January, the US revealed that it sought to create a 30,000-strong force, which uses the Kurds as its backbone, near the Turkish border in Syria. This prompted Turkey to begin attacking the Kurds in the northern region of Afrin.