Posted by Joshua on Sunday, July 15th, 2007
T_desco posted this interesting article on the extent of Saudi participation in the foreign insurgency in Iraq.
Saudis’ role in Iraq insurgency outlined
Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says.
By Ned Parker, Times Staff Writer
July 15, 2007
Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.
About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.
Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality, said the senior U.S. officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity. It is apparently the first time a U.S. official has given such a breakdown on the role played by Saudi nationals in Iraq’s Sunni Arab insurgency.
He said 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis. …
(Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2007)
Here is another bit from from both Saudi and American officials explaining that Saudi Arabia is doing the best it can to stop fighters from sneaking into Iraq but cannot close down the flow because its border is too long and intelligence cooperation from the American-Iraqi side is zero. They both sound shockingly like Syrians!
The Saudi government does not dispute that some of its youths are ending up as suicide bombers in Iraq, but says it has done everything it can to stop the bloodshed.
"Saudis are actually being misused. Someone is helping them come to Iraq. Someone is helping them inside Iraq. Someone is recruiting them to be suicide bombers. We have no idea who these people are. We aren't getting any formal information from the Iraqi government," said Gen. Mansour Turki, spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry.
"If we get good feedback from the Iraqi government about Saudis being arrested in Iraq, probably we can help," he said.
Defenders of Saudi Arabia pointed out that it has sought to control its lengthy border with Iraq and has fought a bruising domestic war against Al Qaeda since Sept. 11.
"To suggest they've done nothing to stem the flow of people into Iraq is wrong," said a U.S. intelligence official in Washington, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "People do get across that border. You can always ask, 'Could more be done?' But what are they supposed to do, post a guard every 15 or 20 paces?"