ISTANBUL – Casting aside US concerns about aiding extremist groups, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have converged on an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The two countries – one a democracy, the other a conservative kingdom – have for years been at odds over how to deal with Assad, their
common enemy. But mutual frustration with what they consider American indecision has brought the two together in a strategic alliance that is driving recent rebel gains in northern Syria, and has helped strengthen a new coalition of anti-Assad insurgents, Turkish officials say.
“The key is that the Saudis are no longer working against the opposition,” a Turkish official said.
A US official said the administration is concerned that the new alliance is helping the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front gain territory in Syria.