Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has rejected a Russian overture to end the conflict in Syria and said Bashar al-Assad must step down immediately or face what he called the “military option.”

He did not provide details on a military option, but noted the Saudis are supporting “moderate rebels” in Syria.

It is now well established there are virtually no moderate rebels in Syria and the opposition fighting against the government is comprised entirely of Sunni jihadists, most notably al-Nusra and the Islamic State.

Despite this, al-Jubeir insisted there “is a Free Syrian Army that is fighting against Bashar al-Assad” and it receives “support from a number of countries.”

“And we expect that this support will continue and intensify.”

Despite objections by the United States, in March Saudi Arabia and Turkey established Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar ash-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria linked Sham Legion.

Ahrar ash-Sham, a coalition of several Islamist and Salafist units, has called for an Islamic state in Syria “whose only sovereign, reference, ruler, direction, and individual, societal and nationwide unifier is Allah Almighty’s Sharia (law)”


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