Major developments happening in Saudi Arabia including the arrest of former King Abdallah chief of staff, prince Al Walid Bin Talal, and heads of the main three Saudi owned television stations. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Trump ally) leads the way:
Eleven princes, four sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening according to sources. (LINK)
NOTE: It’s important to understand the use of the word “corruption” as it pertains to the domestic consumption of news in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). In these examples, “corruption” is expressed as self-interested financial corruption as in: ‘activity against the people’. However, within KSA politics, adverse political action targeted against the state is framed as ‘corruption’ through internal broadcast.
President Trump, May 2017: “Drive Them Out” … “Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.”
I’ll outline some recent actions we’ve been tracking that will highlight today’s events, and yet encapsulate some larger issues. It is critically important to remember, KSA is in a state of realignment away from extremism –REMINDER– and President Trump has committed his support to the reform agents King Salman, and more importantly, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the future leader of Saudi Arabia. You can easily connect-the-dots.
Missed by almost all media reports – five days ago President Trump’s primary, and most trusted, messenger/emissary to the mid-east region, Jared Kushner, made a trip to Saudi Arabia.
[…] Kushner left Washington, D.C., via commercial airline on Wednesday for the trip, which was not announced to the public, a White House official told POLITICO. He traveled separately from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who led a delegation to Riyadh last week to focus on combating terrorist financing. (read more)
Earlier today Saudi Arabia used a U.S. provided patriot missile defense system intercept to strike down a ballistic missile fired from Yemen. The target of the missile was King Khalid international airport in Riyadh:
[…] The missile launch on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh was the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked and represents a major escalation of the ongoing war in the region.
The Saudi-led coalition accused a regional state of providing material support to the Houthi rebels, saying the firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh “threatens the security of the Kingdom and regional and international security,” according to a statement carried by Saudi state-TV al-Ekbariya.
The coalition didn’t name the country. Saudi Arabia has been fighting a proxy war in Yemen against Iran, which it accuses of arming the Houthi rebels. Saudi Arabia has led a military operation in Yemen in support of the internationally recognized government, which was driven out of the capital by the Shite Houthi rebels and is now based in the southern city of Aden.
“This hostile and random act by the Houthis proves that one of the terrorism-supporting countries in the region supports the Houthis,” the statement said.
The missile was fired at 8:07 p.m. local time (1:07 p.m. ET) and targeted civilian areas in Riyadh, the coalition said. It was intercepted by the Patriot missile defense system, leading to shrapnel falling over an uninhibited area east of the airport, the statement said. There were no injuries, it said. (link)
Hours later, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took action: “Eleven princes, four sitting ministers and ‘tens’ of former ministers have been arrested on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday evening according to sources.”
Notice: “among those arrested former King Abdallah chief of staff, prince Al Walid Bin Talal“