The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubeir has said that Russia’s current fight against ISIS in Syria is “dangerous” and has criticised their mission as fuelling the crisis rather than helping it.
He said, “We believe that the Russian interference in Syria is very dangerous because it exacerbates the conflict.”
He also claimed the country’s war can only be ended if President Bashar al-Assad – a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin – is overthrown.
Jubeir described Assad as the magnet that “attracted foreign fighters from all over the world” to fight for ISIS against his regime.
Washington also believes the terror group – which controls vast swathes of Syria and Iraq – cannot be tackled unless Assad is removed from power.
When asked whether Assad could play a role in any Syrian interim government Jubeir said: “His role would be to leave Syria.
“The best case scenario is that we wake up in the morning and Bashar al-Assad is not there.”
Russia’s air force has flown more than 780 sorties against almost 800 targets in Syria since September 30.
But Jubeir added: “We believe that it will be viewed as Russia inserting itself in a sectarian conflict in the Middle East.
“We’re concerned that this will trigger emotions in the Muslim world that will cause an increase in fighters to go to Syria.”
Jubeir is due to meet his Russian, American and Turkish counterparts in Austria today to discuss Syria.