Agence France-Presse quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on the US-led coalition to combat the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: 

Saudi Arabia wants “control and influence” in the event that regime change arrives in Syria and President Bashar al-Assad is ousted,Ramzy Mardini, an expert at the Atlantic Council, told AFP.

“The Islamic State may only be the rehearsal,” he said. “The real show continues to be the power politics in the region and the contest over Syria.”

Some observers believe Arab nations are hoping that, in return for their support, the US will help with their own regional and domestic agendas.

“The underlying motive for the Sunni Arab states may be to help the US get through the first-phase of defeating the Islamic State in order to get to the second-phase of changing the regime in Syria,” said Mardini.

“This isn’t just about targeting militants. It’ll likely evolve into something much more consequential for the region.”

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