Saudi FM doesn't rule out military option in Syria

Speaking at UN, Saudi FM says military operations could be option to topple Assad in absence of political solution to conflict

Saudi FM doesn't rule out military option in Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Tuesday that military operations could be an option to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the absence of a political solution to the years-long conflict.

A devastating civil war in Syria, now in its fifth year, has claimed more than 250,000 lives, according to UN figures, and made the country the world's single-largest source of refugees and displaced people.

Speaking to reporters at UN headquarters in New York, al-Jubeir warned that a military option would be destructive, but said that it was up to al-Assad to decide whether or not to comply with a political roadmap tabled by several nations in 2012.

According to the roadmap, al-Assad should step down to make way for a transitional Syrian government.

The Saudi FM said the Free Syrian Army and moderate anti-Assad opposition groups would enjoy stepped-up support.

He went on to describe Iran as an “occupying power” in Syria, stressing that no solution to the conflict could be achieved without the withdrawal of Lebanese militia Hezbollah -- and other Shia militias -- from the war-torn country.

Al-Jubeir did not, however, rule out the possibility of negotiations with Iran regarding the conflict.

He also criticized both Iran and Russia for their ongoing support for al-Assad, which, he asserted, only served to dim hopes for a political solution.

He also asserted that recent Russian troop deployments to Syria were not intended to combat the ISIL militant group but rather to shore up the al-Assad regime.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Eylül 2015, 13:52