It is ridiculous how Saudi Arabia – one the most undemocratic states in the world – has always pushed for a “democratic transition” in Syria to end the oppressive regime under President Bashar al Assad.
Just this week, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir rejected Russia's bid to build support for its ally, saying Assad must leave office or face military force.
"There is no future for Assad in Syria, with all due respect to the Russians or anyone else," Jubeir told reporters while speaking in New York after meeting Saudi allies. “There are two options for a settlement in Syria. One option is a political process where there would be a transitional council. The other option is a military option, which also would end with the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power.”
The irony is unmistakable here. Saudi Arabia is threatening Assad over war crimes it is committing in Yemen.
More than 5,000 people, including 2,355 civilians, have been killed in Yemen ever since Saudi Arabia launched a military operation on March 26 against Shiite Houthi rebels allegedly supported by the Iranian regime.
The onslaught has been described as “catastrophic” by the United Nations, with 80 percent of the Yemeni population currently in need of aid.
Despite launching an illegal military attack without the UN’s approval, as well as the mounting civilian death toll, Saudi Arabia has refused to back down.
And that’s exactly what Assad has been doing to his own people.
As of June 30, the conflict in Syria had killed nearly 11,100 people this year, according to USAID figures, with most of the deaths caused by attacks carried out by the Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) and pro-SARG forces – nearly 7,000 civilians.
The scale of abuses might differ, but that doesn’t mean the Saudi government is any better than Assad.