Saudi Arabia and the Crisis in Syria
Saudi Arabia has been an international leader in seeking a solution to the crisis in Syria, through financial, military and diplomatic means. Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest providers of aid to Syria’s people, and has taken in millions of citizens from the war-torn country.
Since 2014, Saudi Arabia has been a leading member of the coalition of nations of Operation Inherent Resolve conducting airstrikes against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria.
Saudi Arabia supports a political solution to the crisis in Syria that does not include the presence of President Bashar Al-Assad.
- Saudi Arabia has provided more than $700 million in aid to the Syrian people.
- In early February 2016, Saudi Arabia pledged an additional $100 million in funding at the international donors’ conference in London.
- Humanitarian aid to Syrians in refugee camps by the Kingdom consists of food and medical care, school supplies and materials, and supplies and equipment to establish a household.
- Saudi Arabia has established specialized clinics in refugee camps and provided medical care in the form of immunizations, preventive treatments and medical procedures.
- Saudi Arabia has also sponsored a large number of Syrian families living in Lebanon and Syria (specifically paying for their rent and living costs).
- Saudi Arabia is one of the founding members of the US-led coalition against Daesh in Syria and continues its commitment to Operation Inherent Resolve.
- Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to fly air missions over Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
- On February 4, 2016, the Ministry of Defense announced that it is prepared to deploy ground forces in Syria to fight Daesh, if the U.S.-led international coalition also deploys ground forces.
- As of September 2015, Saudi Arabia has received around 2.5 million Syrians since the beginning of the conflict.
- In order to ensure their dignity and safety, the Kingdom adopted the policy of allowing them to integrate in the country, not to treat them as refugees or place them in camps.
- Displaced Syrians in Saudi Arabia have been given the freedom to move about the country, and those who wish to remain in Saudi Arabia (some hundreds of thousands) have been given legal permanent residency status.
- Their residency comes with the rights that other residents of Saudi Arabia enjoy, like free medical care, the right to work in the Saudi labor market and the right to attend schools and universities.
- This decision to open public schools to Syrian students residing in the Kingdom was enunciated in a royal decree in 2012. According to government statistics, the public school system has accepted more than 100,000 Syrian students.