Political Tornado in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon
New York, Nov 5th, 2017: A shaking political tornado started in the Arabian Kingdom when the Saudi King Salman has removed a prominent prince heading the National Guard, replaced the Economy Minister and created a new anti-corruption committee headed by his son and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The owner of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel Ibrahim Alibrahimi was among the detainees, yet his media outlet reported that 11 princes, including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and dozens of former ministers were detained in a new anticorruption probe headed by the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the chairman of the new committee.
The kingdom’s top council of clerics who are normally considered to be the key licensing authority and a rubber stamp mill of “fatwas” to endorse the royals actions, issued a statement saying it is an Islamic duty to fight corruption — essentially giving religious backing to the high-level arrests being reported.
The Saudi Government said in a statement that the anti corruption committee has the right to issue arrest warrants, impose travel restrictions and freeze bank accounts.
The King ousted one of the highestlevel royals from power, removing Prince Miteb bin Abdullah as head of the National Guard, who was considered a contender for the throne. He was replaced by Prince Khalid bin Ayyaf al-Muqrin, who had held a senior post with the guard.
The removal and defamation of Prince Miteb bin Abdullah essentially sidelines one of the most formidable rivals to the current Crown Prince.
Three months ago Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was ousted from the line of succession as crown prince and his post as Interior Minister.
King Salman also replaced Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih with his deputy, Mohammad al-Tuwaijri. Admiral Abdullah Al-Sultan was also sacked as commander of Saudi Naval Forces and replaced by Admiral Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghifaili.
Saudi stock exchange was effected too where the Shares of Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding investment company are down 10 per cent in today’s trading.
Prince Alwaleed is one of the Middle East’s richest people. He’s also known for being among the most outspoken Saudi royals, long advocating for greater women’s rights.
The Saudi citizen and Lebanon Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has resigned, saying he believes there’s an assassination plot against him and accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hizbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world. His surprise resignation has brought down the coalition Government and plunged Lebanon into a new political crisis.
The violent push of Lebanon into the front line of a regional competition between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran that has also buffeted Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia also said its forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired yesterday from Yemen towards King Khalid International Airport on the outskirts of Riyadh. The missile was fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, according to several Houthi-owned media outlets.
The outcome of last night political tornado in Saudi Arabia came down to detention of 10 princes and 38 ministers and heads of 3 TV stations plus staging resignation of Lebanon PM Saad Hariri, all in a day work!