Syria Accuses Saudi Foreign Minister of Trying to Thwart Truce

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir, seen at a ministerial meeting in Rome on February 2, has been accused by the Syrian government of thwarting the truce agreement. Reuters/Nichols Kamm

BEIRUT, Feb 29  – The Syrian government accused Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Monday of trying to undermine a fragile cessation of hostilities agreement by saying there would be a “plan B” if it failed.

Adel Al Jubeir said on Sunday that Syria’s government and its ally Russia had violated the truce, and that there would be an alternate plan if it became clear Damascus and its allies were not serious about the ceasefire. He did not give details on the plan.

“What Adel Al Jubeir says … about a plan B regarding the current developments in Syria is merely a delusion in the mind of the Saudi regime,” a Syrian foreign ministry official was quoted as saying in a statement on state media.

“Jubeir’s statements are … an attempt to thwart the cessation of combat operations,” the statement added.

Saudi Arabia supports insurgents fighting against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, and backs the main Syrian opposition body.

The fragile cessation, drawn up by the United States and Russia, has led to a dramatic reduction of violence in Syria, though rebels are accusing the government of numerous violations including air strikes. A Syrian military source has said the army is not violating the agreement.

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