Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are al-Qaeda's main regional Sunni backers, along with Turkey and Qatar. Al-Qaeda's international backers include America, Israel, France, and England. Photo Source: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
An excerpt from, "Saudis 'turn to Pakistan to train army for Syria war'" UPI, November 7:
Sayigh stressed that Riyadh, exasperated with U.S. indecision and seemingly obsessed with toppling Assad's Iranian-backed regime at any cost, is taking a big gamble.KSA and Pakistan: Stop now. Stop funding, training, and arming al-Qaeda terrorists.
"The Saudi drive to build an unmistakably Sunni army may increase the potential for rebel fragmentation, even among the like-minded centrist Islamist groups it targets," he observed.
"This leaves the Saudi leadership dependent on Syria's Sunni rebels. If the plan to unite them fails, Riyadh's credibility will be diminished.
Sayigh said the plan appears to have been discussed, "at least in general outline," by the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, who met French President Francois Hollande Sept. 13.
Analyst David Kenner observed in the journal Foreign Policy that the Saudi blueprint envisages Pakistan's military training an initial two brigades, around 5,000-10,000 men. It's not clear when the Saudis expect to deploy these forces.