Saudi Arabia Is In No Position To Claim Moral High Ground Over Syria

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“The military operation was necessary to protect civilians and stop chemical use," Saudi Arabia said of U.S. strikes in Syria.

Saudi Arabia

Just days after killing civilians in Yemen, including children, Riyadh had the audacity to slam Tehran over the suspected chemical attack on civilians at the hands of the Syrian government, which is an ally of Iran.

Saudi Arabia slammed its biggest regional rival during the Arab League summit, in the wake of the suspected chemical weapon attack in Damascus on April 7, which killed at least 42 people.

“We renew our strong condemnation of terrorist acts carried out by Iran in the Arab region, and we reject its blatant interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries,” King Salman said at the summit of Arab leaders in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

The statement came just two days after the United States, the United Kingdom and France launched airstrikes in Syria, in response to the alleged chemical attack on civilians, which is believed to have been perpetrated by the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad.

While Saudi Arabia criticized Iran over its support for Assad, it remained more or less mum over the response from the U.S. and U.K., who are strategic Saudi allies. As it turns out, it is not clear if any of the 100 missiles hit any of the alleged chemical weapons facilities of the Assad regime.

Yet, in a separate statement, Saudi Arabia expressed support for the western airstrikes.

“We fully support military operations against military targets in Syria,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on April 14. “The military operation was necessary to protect civilians and stop chemical use.”

It's important to note, though, on April 2, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike near Yemen's Red Sea port of Hodeida killed at least 14 civilians, including seven children.

How can Saudi Arabia claim high moral ground over Syria when Riyadh has also been involved in the mass murder of a large number of civilians in its neighboring country?

School girls

Since March 2015, over 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the country in March 2015 to push back the Houthi rebels, who, Riyadh claims, are backed by Iran. Of those killed, over 5,000 were children while another 400,000 have been left severely malnourished and fighting for their lives, according to a January 2018 report by UNICEF. It has also given birth to the largest famine the world has witnessed in decades.

And Saudi Arabia has managed to do all of this with the help of weapons and intel support from the U.S. and U.K.

It goes without saying the atrocities against innocent civilians in Syria ought to be condemned, however, why is the world turning a blind eye toward the same sort of crisis currently unfolding in Yemen?

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters

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