Last Tuesday, October 26 was a significant day in 2017 calendar that went overwhelmingly unnoticed. Much of public opinion missed a crucial piece of breaking news with global significance; perhaps it was meant to go unnoticed.
Former Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, in an interview admitted that his country along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with US knowledge and approval, aided and funded a whole range of Salafi terrorist groups in Syria to topple the Assad regime. The admission by the former prime minister confirms the veracity of claims about the phony nature of the so-called Syrian “revolution” and “uprisings” against the Assad regime that started in 2011. It also demonstrates that the whole Syrian “revolution” was a carefully planned geostrategic move to reinforce a Saudi-led geopolitical vision with the objective of cutting off Iran’s hand from the Levant.
Over the last year, a number of developments in the region have led to the crumbling of what can be characterized as a Salafist triangle of violence comprised of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. The triangle, as admitted by the former Qatari official, unleashed unprecedented levels of violence in Syria through Salafi Jihadists, many of whom incarcerated convicted criminals who were released from prison by Saudi cash in exchange for unleashing unimaginable brutality in Syria. Many thousands more infiltrated Syria through Turkey with the tacit encouragement and approval of Turkish government.
However, the alliance started to crack as Turkish policymakers woke to the strategic consequences of their membership in the trio of violence. Ankara realized that the Iranian strategic depth and influence in the region was much deeper and wider than what it had imagined it to be. Hence, the Turkish strategic about-face and its pivot to the Iranian orbit. Much to the consternation of its former Arab allies, today Turkey is strengthening its security and energy ties with Iran.
Qatar, a longtime financier of Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, suddenly found itself the target of Saudi wrath as Riyadh considered Doha’s increasingly independent foreign policy agenda and its growing influence in the Arab world to be a direct challenge to the Saudi domination of Arab affairs. Ironically, Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting terrorism in the region and of trying to build stronger ties with Tehran.
Since the harsh Saudi-led economic embargo against Qatar, Doha has expanded its economic and diplomatic ties with Tehran and, subsequently, trade between the two countries has flourished significantly.
Now, in the wake of Qatari admission to funding violent jihadists, Turkish strategic about-face, and the crumbling of Saudi foreign policy vision, the question is whether the regime of Bashar Al-Assad can take legal action against the governments that once belonged to the trio of violence.