Saudis Sent Death-Row Inmates To Fight Syria (USA TODAY, Jan 21, 2013)

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Report: Saudis sent death-row inmates to fight Syria (USA TODAY, Jan 21, 2013):

Saudi Arabia has sent death-row inmates from several nations to fight against the Syrian government in exchange for commuting their sentences, the Assyrian International News Agency reports.

Citing what it calls a “top secret memo” in April from the Ministry of Interior, AINA says the Saudi offered 1,239 inmates a pardon and a monthly stipend for their families, which were were allowed to stay in the Sunni Arab kingdom. Syrian President Bashar Assad is an Alawite, a minority Shiite sect.

According to an English translation of the memo, besides Saudis, the prisoners included Afghans, Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, Somalis, Sudanese, Syrians and Yemenis. All faced “execution by sword” for murder, rape or drug smuggling.

Russia, which has backed Assad, objected to the bargain and allegedly threatened to bring the issue to the United Nations, said an unidentified former Iraqi member of Parliament who confirmed the memo’s authenticity, says AINA, an independent outlet.

“Initially Saudi Arabia denied the existence of this program. But the testimony of the released prisoners forced the Saudi government to admit, in private circles, its existence,” AINA writes. “The Saudis agreed to stop their clandestine activities and work towards finding a political solution on condition that knowledge of this program would not be made public.”

AINA also published the original Arabic memo.

The report mentions that most of the 23 Iraqi prisoners returned home, as did an unspecified number of Yemenis. But AINA does not indicate the fates of the remaining inmates or how many may have been killed, wounded or captured.

Assyrians, the builders of Mesopotamian civilizations, are a semitic people indigenous to northern Iraq. They are ethnically distinct from Arabs and Jews, and are generally Christians. Assyria dominated the Middle East in the first millennium BCE.

1 thought on “Saudis Sent Death-Row Inmates To Fight Syria (USA TODAY, Jan 21, 2013)

  1. This was done by the Confederate States of America towards the end of the American civil war in 1864-65. They were letting men out of prison to fight for the cause. Also food supplies were very limited to keep their own armies going, let alone criminals.
    One the other side of the conflict…… The Union was offering Confederate Soldiers who were POWs a deal to go west and suppress the Indian uprisings for four or five years…… they were getting tired of keeping all these men locked up & needed manpower in the west. How many CSA POWs took the deal, got out of prison camp and went AWOL to return to the south isn’t known. I don’t know the number of CSA POWs who actually went west to get out of Yankee prison camps.
    This signals to me that the Saudi kings are in trouble, and feel in danger of losing their thrones. They offered to pay the US to go into Syria………the last time the US was paid for an invasion in the Middle East was for the Kuwait kings in Desert Storm……they gave the US nearly a billion dollars.
    The Saudi Kings are rich, but support for them is weak, that is why they keep bribing their people with money and other perks………..they want to keep their repressive and abusive royalty secure. Freeing death row inmates to fight for them tells me manpower support is very weak, and they need every man they can find.
    We sure live in interesting times.

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