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HomeVideoInside the Awkward U.S.-Saudi Alliance Against ISIS | Confronting ISIS | FRONTLINE

Inside the Awkward U.S.-Saudi Alliance Against ISIS | Confronting ISIS | FRONTLINE

When ISIS began setting up schools to teach the next generation of jihadists, the terror group didn’t have to start from scratch on its curricula.

Instead, its members took to the Internet, downloading PDFs of textbooks that had been put up online by Saudi Arabia’s ministry of education and that preached hatred for anyone who’s not a member of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi branch of Islam.

The Saudis have since revised some of their textbooks, but it was a particularly awkward moment in the relationship between the United States and one of its closest allies in the Middle East — and it’s explored as part of “Confronting ISIS,” a new FRONTLINE documentary from correspondent Martin Smith delving into many aspects of the complicated, U.S.-led fight against ISIS.

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With on-the-ground reporting from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, “Confronting ISIS” examines the successes, failures, and challenges of the fight, as ISIS loses ground in the region but strikes out abroad.

Watch the full documentary Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST on PBS stations or online:


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FRONTLINE is made possible by PBS and CPB. Major support is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, the Wyncote Foundation and Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.