Saudi, UAE, Egypt working with Israel to counter Iran, Turkey influence in Syria: Report
Tehran (KNA) - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt are working on a plan with Israel to marginalize Iranian and Turkish influence in the region through restoring ties with Syria and making key changes to their overall policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new report has revealed.
Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel's Mossad spying agency, was among a number of Israeli officials who attended a secret meeting with representatives of the three Arab countries in a Persian Gulf capital last month to discuss the new initiative, Middle East Eye reported Tuesday.
The plot includes accepting Damascus back into the Arab League, accelerating US troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, defending Syrian Kurds against Turkish attacks and rolling back Ankara's political standing in Iraq, the report added.
Iran's military advisors in Syria have helped the government of President Bashar al-Assad purge foreign-backed militants from most parts of the country. Israel has used Iranian advisors' presence near its borders as an excuse to attack Syrian military bases over the past months.
Riyadh is worried that continuation of the Syrian conflict would ultimately help Tehran's clout grow even bigger.
The shared antipathy towards Iran has led Saudi and its regional allies - the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and others - to develop clandestine ties with Israel over the past years.