Syria, the Saudi connection: The Prince with close ties to Washington at the heart of the push for war

The Muslim Issue

by David Usborne, Monday 26 August 2013  |  The Independent

 

He has been gone from the capital for eight years, but Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington wielded influence over no fewer than five different US presidents, has re-emerged as a pivotal figure in the struggle by America and its allies to tilt the battlefield balance against the regime in Syria.

Appointed by the Saudi king, his uncle, last year as the head of the Saudi General Intelligence Agency, Prince Bandar has reportedly for months been focused exclusively on garnering international support, including arms and training, for Syrian rebel factions in pursuit of the eventual toppling of President Bashar al-Assad.

It is a long-term Saudi goal, that in the past several days has been subsumed by the more immediate crisis over the purported use of chemical weapons by Damascus, which, according to Riyadh, must…

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