By Arab News
Saudi Arabia has expressed deep concern over Russia’s airstrikes in Syria, saying there was no evidence of Daesh operating in the areas targeted and that innocent civilians had been killed.
Russia launched several strikes in Hama and Homs on Thursday, the second day of operations, with Kremlin officials saying that they targeted members of Daesh.
Russian warplanes bombed a camp run by CIA-trained rebels, the group’s commander said.
Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Moallemi, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN, criticized Russia’s actions in a speech delivered at the Security Council on Wednesday.
“As for those countries that have claimed recently to join in the fight against Daesh terrorism, they can’t do that at the same time as they support the terrorism of the Syrian regime and its terrorist foreign allies like Hezbollah and the Quds Force and other terrorist sectarian groups,” he said in comments broadcast by Al-Arabiya television.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive on behalf of President Bashar Assad’s government, Reuters sources said on Thursday, a further sign of the rapid internationalization of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.
Al-Moallemi said the Kingdom condemned Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian land, its repeated aggression at Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the violence perpetrated by terrorist settlers. He said these actions were among the chief reasons for armed conflicts in the region.
In addition, Al-Moallemi reiterated that the Kingdom and its allies would continue their military action in Yemen to fend off Iran’s support of Houthi rebels.
On the stampede in Mina, Al-Moallemi lambasted Iran, saying Tehran was attempting to politicize the tragedy.
He said that the Kingdom has been working over the years to ensure the safety of pilgrims, and had foiled several Iranian attempts to sabotage Haj. The Saudi government was conducting a probe into the incident and would punish anyone found guilty of wrongdoing, he said.