US shouldn’t divulge IS combat plans: Saudi prince

The former head of intelligence for Saudi Arabia has criticized American anti-terrorism tactics, saying U.S. President Barack Obama was wrong to rule out sending troops to Syria and Iraq.

"You should not tell your enemy what you're not going to use against him beforehand," Turki bin Faisal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia's royal family told CNBC.

The U.S. resumed airstrikes against militants in Iraq in August for the first time since its troops withdrew in 2011. This followed the capture of several cities by Islamic State (also known as ISIS) militants, who have posted the beheading of three captives, two Americans and one Briton, on the the Internet.


Obama is trying to build an international military coalition to combat Islamic State terrorists in both Iraq and Syria, but has repeatedly ruled out sending in ground troops, which could prove highly unpopular both at home and abroad.

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"My concern, in this issue of no troops on the ground, is that you should not announce beforehand what you are not going to allow yourself to do," said Al Saud. "I think we've seen examples of that not just from the United States, but other countries as well."

Al Saud described Saudi Arabia and the U.S. as "good friends"—and added that the Middle Eastern theocracy was not reliant on U.S. demand for its oil.

"There is talk about America no longer depending on oil from the Middle East. The position of Saudi is that's fine," he told CNBC.

"The world requirement for fossil fuels is growing and so if America can take care of herself, we can provide what is necessary for the rest of the world."

He added: "I cannot foresee a time when America will withdraw strategically from the Middle East."

—Written by Katy Barnato; Reported by Hadley Gamble.

Correction: This story has been amended to reflect that the Islamic State has beheaded three Western captives—two Americans and one Briton.