This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
SAUDI King Salman sacked his military chief of staff and other top army officials today in a shake-up of the Defence Ministry.
General Abdulrahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan has been replaced in the top job by one-time air force boss General Fayyadh bin Hamid al-Rwaili, while the chiefs of the ground and air forces have also been ditched.
Khaled bin Hussain al-Biyari, CEO of mobile phone and internet service provider Saudi Telecom Co, becomes assistant defence minister in the upheaval, probably prompted by the Gulf kingdom’s inability to make headway in its war on Yemen.
In the almost three years since Operation Decisive Storm was unleashed on Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbour more than 10,000 civilians have been killed in bombing raids that have hit markets, hospitals and schools among other civilian targets.
Bombing water infrastructure has provoked the worst cholera outbreak in modern history, with an estimated million cases by the end of last year. The World Health Organisation said this week the outbreak is likely to intensify this year.
A naval blockade preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the country has also caused widespread famine.
Nonetheless — and despite logistical support and arms provided by allies Britain and the United States — Saudi forces have failed to achieve their war aim of restoring ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power and defeating the insurgency of the Houthi movement.
The Houthis retain control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa and much of the country’s territory and killed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as a traitor in December when he renounced his alliance with them and sought to switch to the Saudi side. Houthi incursions into Saudi territory and missile attacks on the Saudi capital Riyadh have also proved humiliating.
The architect of the war, Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, is believed to be behind the purge of the top military officials, with US analyst Becca Wasser arguing that, as with November’s incarceration of senior royals and business figures in Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton hotel, the changes are a bid to consolidate his power before he ascends the throne.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.