Riyadh ‘not consulted’ over US strike that killed Iranian general

Published January 6, 2020
Saudi Arabia was not consulted by its ally Washington over a US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general (pictured), an official said on Sunday, as the kingdom sought to defuse soaring regional tensions. — AFP/File
Saudi Arabia was not consulted by its ally Washington over a US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general (pictured), an official said on Sunday, as the kingdom sought to defuse soaring regional tensions. — AFP/File

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia was not consulted by its ally Washington over a US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, an official said on Sunday, as the kingdom sought to defuse soaring regional tensions.

Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to possible Iranian repri­sals after Tehran vowed “rev­enge” following the strike on Friday that killed powerful commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not consulted regarding the US strike,” a Saudi official said, requesting anonymity.

“In light of the rapid developments, the kingdom stresses the importance of exercising restraint to guard against all acts that may lead to escalation, with severe consequences,” the official added.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry made a similar call for restraint at the weekend and King Salman emphasised the need for measures to defuse tensions in a phone call on Saturday with Iraqi President Barham Saleh.

In a separate phone call with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed “the need to make efforts to calm the situation and de-escalate tensions”, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The crown prince has instructed Prince Khalid bin Salman, his younger brother and deputy defence minister, to travel to Washington and London in the next few days to urge restraint, the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.

Prince Khalid will meet White House and US defence officials, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both allies of Washington, are also vulnerable to Iranian counter strikes.

The American embassy in Riyadh on Sunday warned its citizens living close to military bases and oil and gas installations in the kingdom of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks”.

Saudi Arabian military commanders recently met with counterparts from “friendly countries” to formulate a new strategy to tackle the Yemeni rebels, particularly those “opposing” a political solution, according to Asharq al-Awsat.

Riyadh has said it will host a separate meeting of foreign ministers of Arab and African coastal states on Monday.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...
Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...