Saudi king orders removal of Prince Bandar as spy chief

Saudi king orders removal of Prince Bandar as spy chief
Tue Apr 15, 2014 22:16:15

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been removed from his post as kingdom’s spy chief, Saudi official news agency has reported.

According to Saudi Press Agency, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a decree on Tuesday in which he removed Prince Bandar from his post, “upon on his request" and replaced him with lieutenant general staff Yousef bin Ali Al-Idrisi  who was the deputy chief of general intelligence.

Prince Bandar was reportedly becoming problematic for the royal family as he practically turned to a commander for militant groups fighting against Syrian government.

He is said to be conducting plans to alter the situation in Syria according to his interests and has been travelling to Washington, Moscow, Paris and London to meet his partners on the matter.

Diplomatic sources said earlier that Washington had demanded the removal of Prince Bandar from the Syrian file because of his mismanagement of the situation in the country, which has been grappling with a foreign-backed crisis since March 2011.

On February 19, the Washington Post also reported that the Saudi interior minister had recently represented Saudi Arabia at a conclave of Western and Arab spymasters in the US, where he held talks with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice over the policies in Syria.

Bandar, who formerly served as Saudi ambassador to Washington for over 20 years, has been a staunch supporter of Takfiri militants operating against Syria.

He is widely believed to be the key figure trying to increase Saudi weapons flow to the foreign-backed militants in Syria fighting with President Bashar Assad’s government.

The Saudi prince is also known to have had close ties with former US President George Bush, and was an advocate of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.


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