British and US officials are loudly cheering Saudi Arabia’s announcement of a new 34-nation coalition of Sunni Arab states to fight terror, with British officials saying they believe that the coalition will provide a “ground army” in Syria.
Some are less enthused about the announcement, particularly some of the nations named as members of the coalition, who say they were never even asked by Saudi Arabia to join any such thing. Lebanon, indeed, claimed they read about their putative involvement in a Reuters news story.
Pakistan and Indonesia were also surprised by their inclusion, with Pakistani officials summoning the Saudi ambassador to try to get some clarification. Pakistani officials noted this is the second time the Saudis included them in a military coalition this year without asking them first, previously naming them as part of the Yemen war, even though they never got involved.
Indonesia said they were told by the Saudis that it was some sort of anti-terror coordination program for intelligence sharing, and that they hadn’t even agreed to join that yet by the time Saudi officials were declaring it a military alliance.