News / Middle East

Saudi Arabia Raises Military Alertness Over Syria

Jordanian protester accuses Saudi Arabia, United States of masterminding Damascus chemical attack, Amman, Aug. 30, 2013.
Jordanian protester accuses Saudi Arabia, United States of masterminding Damascus chemical attack, Amman, Aug. 30, 2013.
Reuters
Saudi Arabia, a supporter of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has raised its level of military alertness in anticipation of a possible Western strike in Syria, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
 
The United States has been calling for punitive action against Assad's government for a suspected poison gas attack on a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people.
 
Saudi Arabia's defense readiness has been raised to "two" from "five," a Saudi military source who declined to be named told Reuters. "One" is the highest level of alert.
 
"It is a must, no one knows what will happen," he said.
 
The source said other countries in the region, including Jordan, Turkey and Israel, appeared also to have raised their level of military readiness.
 
A second source said Saudi Arabia's defense readiness had been raised last week, and meant that all leave for the armed forces would be cancelled.
 
The sources declined to give further details of what a change in alert level would mean, but analysts said it was likely some forces would be moved closer to national borders.
 
In Kuwait lawmakers have asked their government to inform them about plans for readiness to deal with repercussions of a strike on Syria, Kuwaiti newspapers reported.
 
The prime minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, held an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Thursday, al-Watan reported.
 
Interior minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Hamad al-Sabah was told to take all necessary measures in case of an emergency that might arise as a result of strikes, the paper said.
 
Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally, Qatar and other Sunni Muslim powers back the mainly Sunni rebels battling Assad, who is from Syria's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. The rebels have been joined by foreign Sunni jihadis.
 
Assad enjoys military support from Iran, Lebanon's Hezbollah and among Iraqi Shi'ites.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
August 31, 2013 4:29 AM
It's time for Arab countries to learn how to resolve their own political problems by negotiations and reasoning. They should not rely solely on Western countries' military interventions for resolution in the Middle East. American and European credibility suffered new low when they deceitfully concocted number of phony reasons to invade Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. That's why now Western governments are unable to convince their citizens on another military intervention in Arab country. Arabs should realise that they have a lot on their plate at the moment.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid