Saudi Arabia says it's given $100 million to northeast Syria

17.08.2018

Saudi Arabia said early on Friday that it has contributed $100 million to northeast Syria for "stabilisation projects" in areas once held by the Islamic State group and now controlled by U.S.-backed forces.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington said the money "will save lives, help facilitate the return of displaced Syrians and help ensure that IS cannot re-emerge to threaten Syria, its neighbours, or plan attacks against the international community."

The money will go toward agriculture, education, roadworks, rubble removal and water service for the region, which is now largely held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

"This substantial contribution will play a critical role in the coalition's efforts to revitalise communities, such as Raqqa, that have been devastated by IS terrorists," the embassy said in a statement.

The Syrian city of Raqqa was the seat of the Islamic State group's self-proclaimed "caliphate" until it was liberated by the U.S.-backed forces last year.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces. In May, Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened to attack areas held by the U.S.-backed forces. Saudi Arabia long has opposed Assad's government, funding and arming rebels who challenged his rule as the country's 2011 Arab Spring protests devolved into a civil war and then a regional proxy battlefield.

The U.S. military operates air bases and outposts in the Kurdish-administered region.

The Saudi Embassy described the $100 million as part of a pledge made by Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a U.S.-sponsored conference in Brussels about the Islamic State group in July at NATO headquarters.    (AP)

More on this topic
In submitting this comment, the reader accepts the following terms and conditions: Qantara.de reserves the right to edit or delete comments or not to publish them. This applies in particular to defamatory, racist, personal, or irrelevant comments or comments written in dialects or languages other than English. Comments submitted by readers using fantasy names or intentionally false names will not be published. Qantara.de will not provide information on the telephone. Readers' comments can be found by Google and other search engines.