US President Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia signals nothing but Washington’s increased support for the monarchy’s war crimes in Yemen and its push to topple the legitimate Syrian government, says a former US diplomat who has served in the kingdom.
Obama met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud shortly after arriving in Riyadh on Wednesday, kicking off two days of tense talks with the Saudis and Washington’s other Persian Gulf allies.
In an interview with Press TV on Wednesday, J. Michael Springmann, the former head of the American visa bureau in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, noted that Obama’s visit would strengthen the ongoing Saudi military aggression against Yemen and reinforce its hostility against the Syrian government which has been grappling with foreign-backed militancy since 2011.
“They have been giving them, for example in Yemen, intelligence information and selling them weapons and bombs to engage in murder and war crimes and human rights violations in Yemen,” he said.
“The Saudis have been also involved in attempting to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government, again with the full cooperation and support of the United States,” he further noted.
According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict in the Arab country has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people.
The former US diplomat who has served under former presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, further explained by saying that Saudis have been working in coordination with the US, to train anti-Assad militants in Jordan and Turkey and they have been funneling money and weapons to terrorist groups wreaking havoc in Syria.
He said Obama’s visit to Riyadh would change none of those policies and Washington’s backing of the long-time may even increase as a result.
“He claims to oppose terrorism yet at the same time he trains terrorists, he recruits terrorists, he arms terrorists and it is truly mindboggling the Americans are doing and the American people get away with that because they have no concept of the rest of the world,” Springmann said.
The US continues to support the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has left nearly 9,400 people dead, including 4,000 women and children.
Referring to the ongoing fight in the US over whether to release the documents that may implicate Saudis in the September 11, 2011, attacks that killed some 3,000 people, Springmann said the American people will strongly react if the kingdom’s role is confirmed.
Riyadh has threatened to sell off $750 billion in US assets if Congress passes a bill that would allow American citizens to sue the Saudi government for any role it may have had in the attacks that killed 3,000 people.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks were Saudi citizens but the monarchy has long denied any role in the attacks.
The White House has indicated that Obama would not hesitate to veto the legislation.