Iran, Saudis Agree: Other Side’s Fighters Need to Leave Syria

Non-Syrians Should Leave Unless They're On the Right Side

Everyone agrees that the big problem in the Syrian Civil War is all those pesky foreign fighters, and everyone agrees that a key step toward a solution would be the fighters who aren’t on their side should immediately go.

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal was the first out of the gate, saying that Shi’ite militias from Lebanon and Iraq should be made to leave, via UN resolution if necessary. No mention was made of the huge armies of foreign Sunni Islamist fighters being bankrolled by the Saudis themselves.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s comment was a little less blatant, as he urged foreign fighters in general to leave, though with Iran openly supporting the aforementioned Shi’ite militias, the comments are clearly more centered around the Sunnis they’re fighting.

Iran’s version of the statement was non-specific enough that Jordan and Turkey, both backers of the Sunni side, were able to sign off on it unaltered, though likewise it is clear that for every nation the lesson is clear: foreign fighters who are on the other side should be leaving immediately, and their own side isn’t nearly as big of a problem.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of