No less than ten days after President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner made a surprise, unscheduled visit to Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom has been thrown into utter chaos.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has supposedly launched an “anti-corruption” crackdown on Saturday, arresting ten princes and 38 ministers – but others whisper of a failed coup against the king, who is only in his second year of rule after taking over from his brother Abdullah in 2015.
Prominent figures arrested include the Chief of the National Guard, Prince Muteb bin Abdullah, and Prince Al-Alweel bin Talal, the 41st richest man in the world and a former business partner of President Donald Trump.
This news comes hours after a ballistic missile was shot down over the Arabian capital of Riyadh. The Arabians are blaming the Houthi rebels in Yemen – several hundred miles away – indicating that they may be covering up some kind of embarrassing internal security lapse.
— World Defense (@WDefence) November 4, 2017
Elsewhere in the region, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, abruptly resigned while in Saudi Arabia after allegedly being threatened by an assassination plot. Hariri has publicly accused Iran of attempting to destabilize the region, undoubtedly at the behest of the Saudis.
Many believe that Hariri was pressured into resigning by the Saudis, who were unwilling to allow Shiite militant group and political party Hezbollah to have a seat at the table in Lebanon’s political coalition – on top of an inability to deal with worsening domestic conditions.
The resignation will trigger the collapse of Lebanon’s political coalition and is likely to mean yet more instability in a region that does not lack for it.
Today’s tumultuous events demonstrate just how bold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become since Donald Trump became President of the United States. King Salman is confident that he can act with impunity and without criticism from America, since all it took to buy Trump’s affection was a red carpet and a golden chain – and the consequences for peace in the Middle East could be dire indeed.
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