CIA chief: Saudi, Is­rael may set up ‘joint mil­i­tary head­quar­ters’

Tehran Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The United States Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency (CIA) Direc­tor Mike Pom­peo says Saudi Ara­bia is work­ing di­rectly with Is­rael on con­fronting “chal­lenges” in the Mid­dle East, sug­gest­ing that the two sides could go as far as set­ting up “a joint mil­i­tary head­quar­ters.”

Speak­ing at the Rea­gan Na­tional De­fense Fo­rum in Cal­i­for­nia, Pom­peo cited the Is­lamic State in Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIL/Daesh) ter­ror­ist group, Iran and “failed states” as pos­ing a chal­lenge to both Saudi Ara­bia and Is­rael, ad­vis­ing the two sides to de­velop their re­la­tion­ship.

“We’ve seen them [Saudis] work with the Is­raelis to push back against ter­ror­ism through­out the Mid­dle East, to the ex­tent we can con­tinue to de­velop those re­la­tion­ships and work along­side them – the Per­sian Gulf states and broader Mid­dle East will likely be more se­cure,” he said.

“It is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant that in the Mid­dle East, where we have failed states, where you have ISIS (ISIL), where you have Iran, that we have got to de­velop a stronger coali­tion of coun­tries that are will­ing to work to­gether to con­front th­ese chal­lenges,” he added.

Both Is­rael and the House of Saud regime are alarmed by the grow­ing power of Le­banon’s re­sis­tance move­ment of Hezbol­lah which has been key to break­ing the grip of Tak­firi ter­ror­ists and other mil­i­tants on ter­ri­to­ries in Iraq and Syria.

Pom­peo called for build­ing “a strong coali­tion that can op­er­ate – frankly I think with a joint mil­i­tary head­quar­ters that can... tar­get the ter­ror­ists in that re­gion, that can ba­si­cally work to­gether to try to pro­vide sta­bil­ity.”

The House of Saud regime’s close­ness to Is­rael has come in the wake of Riyadh’s ag­gres­sive poli­cies un­der its new rulers who have launched a de­struc­tive war on Ye­men.

The Saudi regime has also ratch­eted up its hos­tile rhetoric against Iran, threat­en­ing to draw a pos­si­ble fu­ture con­flict in­side the Ira­nian ter­ri­tory.

The House of Saud regime has fur­ther been as­so­ci­ated with Tak­firi and ter­ror­ist groups wreak­ing havoc in Syria and Iraqi for years.

With ISIL al­most elim­i­nated, the U.S., Is­rael, Saudi regime and their al­lies are said to be shoring up al-Nusra Front (Jab­hat al-Nusra) ter­ror­ists in Syria.

Last month, Is­raeli En­ergy Min­is­ter Yu­val Steinitz said Tel Aviv had had covert con­tacts with the Saudi regime, in the first of­fi­cial ac­knowl­edge­ment of such re­la­tions.

“We have ties that are in­deed partly covert with many Mus­lim and Arab coun­tries, and usu­ally [we are] the party that is not ashamed,” he said in an in­ter­view on Army Ra­dio.

Yaa­cov Nagel, who stepped down as Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s in­ter­nal se­cu­rity ad­viser ear­lier this year, said the Saudi regime was ready to sac­ri­fice Pales­tini­ans and their de­mands for closer ties with Is­rael.

“They don’t like [the Pales­tini­ans] more than us or less than us,” he said, adding the Saudis “don’t give a damn” about the Pales­tini­ans.

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab govern­ments that have of­fi­cial di­plo­matic ties with Tel Aviv and host Is­raeli mis­sions. The rest of the Arab govern­ments have no open di­plo­matic re­la­tions with the Is­raeli regime.

Ne­tanyahu, how­ever, has said his regime had ties with Arab states, and that the re­la­tions were im­prov­ing.

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