Real Life Saudi Game of Thrones

One of the many Saudi princes died in a helicopter crash near Yemen and another died in a firefight between his security forces and government security that came to arrest him.

This will be very interesting and bloody if many of the thousand Saudi Princes choose not to “bend the knee”. They have resources and would have to try to counter attack the Saudi King.

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption purge has widened after one of the country’s top businessmen was reportedly detained, accounts were frozen and a no-fly list was drawn up.

On Monday, Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar, a board member at Saudi Arabia’s biggest travel company, was reportedly added to the list detainees, which already included some of the country’s most influential officials and entrepreneurs.

It started off with the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a clearly orchestrated move produced and executed by his paymasters in Riyadh.

Hariri announced on a Saudi-owned channel from the Saudi capital that he was resigning his post in protest at foreign intervention in Lebanon’s domestic affairs. The irony was lost on him.

The ostensible reason he gave, as he invoked his late father’s name, was that he too is threatened with assassination.

As the day turned into evening, there were reports of explosions being heard close to the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. It transpired that Houthi rebels (linked to Iran and allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is partially linked to the United Arab Emirates) had fired at least one ballistic missile from Yemen towards Riyadh.

A royal decree ordering the arrest of several princes, billionaires, and notable figures, as well as the sacking of senior government officials. Some were the sons of the late King Abdullah. One was the head of the Saudi National Guard.

The 32-year-old Bin Salman shows that he is willing to throw the entire region into jeopardy to wear the royal gown. He has destroyed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); Yemen can no longer be referred to as a functioning state; Egypt is a ticking time bomb; and now Lebanon may erupt.

A senior Saudi prince and seven other officials have been killed in a helicopter crash near the country’s border with Yemen, state media report.

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, was returning from an inspection tour when his aircraft came down near Abha late on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Prince Mansour was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence chief who was crown prince between January and April 2015, when he was pushed aside by Prince Mohammed’s father, King Salman, now 81.

Mansour served as a consultant to his father’s royal court and in April 2017 was among eight young royals appointed deputy governors.

Bin Salmon Sends his regards

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud went a step further by declaring a return to “moderate Islam” and a “tolerant society.” The 32-year-old monarch’s efforts to rebrand the ultraconservative kingdom and fend off accusations of human rights abuses, however, has been shadowed by an increasingly public campaign to consolidate power that has already had far-reaching, bloody consequences.

Mohammed bin Salman was unexpectedly promoted to crown prince in June after his father, reigning King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, demoted his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef Al Saud, from his standing as next-in-line for the throne. Since last year, Mohammed bin Salman has championed his “Vision 2030” initiative to diversify the kingdom’s oil-addicted economy and to fight corruption.

One of the targets of Sunday’s early-hours raids in Saudi Arabia was billionaire Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Previously the ruler of Saudi Arabia has usually been someone very old. And there was a system for power sharing. A young King could rule for 50 years instead of ten and lock in the power of his heirs.

Getting to “moderate Islam” and a “tolerant society”… that could involve a lot of killing and arrests. But you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.