In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on July 31, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan offered a package of economic incentives to Russia.
Bandar offered to buy up to USD 15 billion of Russian weapons besides ensuring that Persian Gulf gas would not challenge Russia's gas sales to Europe, according to Syrian opposition sources close to Saudi Arabia.
In return, Riyadh wants Moscow to lessen its support for the Syrian government and no longer block any United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Syria.
A former Saudi ambassador to US, Bandar is currently director general of Saudi Intelligence Agency. He is known to have had close ties with former US President George Bush, and was an advocate of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Some observers believe that Saudi Arabia’s ally, the US, has indeed tasked Bandar bin Sultan with causing unrest in many regional countries including Syria.
On Tuesday, Saudi King Abdullah appointed Bandar bin Sultan’s brother, Prince Salman bin Sultan, as Deputy Defense Minister. Bandar has already worked closely alongside his brother in favor of foreign-backed militants in Syria to topple Syria's Assad.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US congressional delegations where he repeated Tel Aviv’s nuclear accusations against Tehran and called for more sanctions against the Islamic Republic.