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Saudis Said to Disregard U.S. on Aid to Syrian Islamists

Saudi Arabia’s support for rebels in Syria won’t be constrained by U.S. efforts to keep the money from Islamist groups, as the kingdom steps up efforts to battle Iranian influence in the region, a Saudi official said.

Syrian opposition factions backed by the U.S. are disorganized and largely ineffective, so directing assistance only to them would be handicapping the fight against President Bashar al-Assad, the official said, asking not to be identified because of the issue’s sensitivity. He said differences between the longtime allies over Syria and other Middle East issues don’t amount to a breakdown in relations.