Turkey, Saudi in pact to help anti-Assad rebels
ISTANBUL - Associated Press
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at the Royal Court, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Harnik/PoolTurkish officials are confirming that their country has forged an alliance with Saudi Arabia to help rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The pact, which provides rebels logistical and financial support, is a concern for a U.S. administration wary of empowering radical Islamist groups in Syria.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been at odds over how to deal with Assad, their common enemy. But mutual frustration with what they consider American indecision has brought the two together in a strategic alliance that is driving recent rebel gains in northern Syria, Turkish officials say.
The Obama administration worries that the revived rebel alliance could potentially put a more dangerous radical Islamist regime in Assad’s place, just as the U.S. is focused on bring down the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).