The Obama administration appears to be facing a policy quandary over what to do about the escalating violence by Syrian government forces against civilians and opposition rebel forces.
Other than condemning the widespread shelling attacks, so far the administration is refusing to intervene, either militarily or through covert action in support of the Free Syrian Army or against the Bashar Assad regime and its forces.
U.S. officials, however, are closely watching states in the region. One country that could take action, possibly military intervention, is Saudi Arabia.
Both the Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-faisal recently called for covert military aid to rebels and even military attacks in support of opposition forces.
Qatar’s government also is considering the provision of arms to opposition forces as well.
The official Saudi Press Agency recently quoted the king and foreign minister as calling for regime change in Syria through the use of force if necessary.
Asked recently if the Syrian opposition should be provided with arms, the Saudi foreign minister said, “I think it’s an excellent idea . . . because they have to defend themselves.”
The comments from the oil-rich kingdom’s leaders were the strongest statements that represent a significant escalation of Saudi rhetoric since criticism of the Assad regime began in November.
A satellite image shows a pipeline on fire in Homs, Syria, after it was shelled by government troops. The U.S. is watching the response of other Arab nations to the continuing violence in Syria. The Saudi king and foreign minister have called for regime change.