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Saudi Arabia to Erect a 600 Mile “Great Wall” to Fend off ISIS

Photo taken in Saudi Arabia by Flickr user Edward Musiak on Jan 13 2013. CC- BY.2.0

Photo taken in Saudi Arabia by Flickr user Edward Musiak on Jan 13 2013. CC- BY.2.0

Saudi Arabia is planning to build a 600-mile buffer wall to separate itself from Iraq, and to protect itself from invading IS forces, it was revealed today.

According to The Telegraph, the “Great Wall” will include a wall and a ditch to protect the Wahabi state from ISIS militants who control “much of the area on the Iraqi side” of the border and whose eyes are set on “the ultimate capture of Saudi Arabia, home to the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina, as a key goal.”

Last week, two Saudi guards and General Oudah al-Belawi, commander of border operations in Saudi Arabia’s northern zone,  were killed when ISIS suicide bombers attacked the Suweif border post, some 40 kilometres away the Saudi city of Arar and 80 km from Al Nukhayb, in Iraq.

Many see the Islamic State as the doing of Saudi Arabia, its ideology and its funding. From Pakistan, Farrukh Hussaini is quick to point out:

Lebanese Tala shares a similar view:

And Nooran, from Jaffa, Palestine, notes:

ISIS follows its own interpretation of Islam, which stems from the Wahabi creed, the state ideology of Saudi Arabia. In June, the group, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, changed its name to the Islamic state, headed by a Caliph, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. A group of 140 prominent Sunni Muslim scholars responded to ISIS with an open letter telling them they had no right to use Islam or State in their name because their self-proclaimed goals of statehood or Caliphate and brutal acts of destruction and violence are forbidden in Islam.

In a recent article, Newsweek writes:

Saudi officials don’t like to talk about it, but experts who closely follow developments inside the kingdom say ISIS enjoys growing support among ordinary Saudis, who see the group as the true champion of embattled Sunnis in their sectarian struggles against the Shiite-led governments in Iran and elsewhere. For many Saudis, ISIS also stands for a righteous, austere brand of Islam, while the royal family, they believe, is irredeemably corrupt.

Now, after years of condemning yet turning a blind eye to jihadists fighting against the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, the kingdom’s leaders are increasingly worried about support for ISIS at home.

Many wonder how a wall would protect the Saudi regime from the “enemy within.”

From Yemen, Haykal Bafana reminds us about the Great Wall of China, and how it failed to protect Beijing from falling.

And Shami Analyst concludes:

Saudi Arabia is also in the process of constructing a 1,000 mile border with its Southern neighbour, Yemen.

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