Activists have gathered outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington, DC, to denounce Riyadh’s support of terrorism in the Middle East and around the world.
Hundreds of Americans of various Middle Eastern descent attended the protest on Wednesday to slam Saudi Arabia’s funding of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
The protesters then marched to the White House to denounce the regime’s intervention in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Iraq.
“Saudi, ISIL are the same; the only difference is the name” and “people yes, Saudi no; the royal family’s got to go,” we among the many slogans chanted during the demonstration.
The protesters called on US officials to sever ties with Riyadh, describing the regime as the root of all evil in the Middle East.
“We know that Saudi Arabia is involved in spreading extremism, the Wahhabi ideology, first around the Middle East and South Asia and now it’s really all over the world,” said protest attendee Medea Benjamin, a member of the Code Pink, a peace and social justice movement working to end US-funded wars and occupations.
Despite the historic ties, the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has become progressively worse amid Riyadh’s growing international isolation and increasing domestic instability, experts say.
A recent congressional hearing indicates America cannot defeat global terrorist groups such as Daesh as long as Saudi Arabia continues to sponsor Wahhabism.
Saudi Arabia’s growing international isolation and Iran’s rising regional influence led Riyadh to cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in January, according to a recent analysis by the Eurasia Group, the world’s largest political-risk consultancy.