Saudi Arabia

Prominent Saudi family urges West to help free detained children

KONFRONTASI-Western governments must demand that their ally Saudi Arabia release the children of a former top Saudi security official who fled to Canada after the crown prince took power three years ago, the family told the Financial Times.

The children of Saad Aljabri - daughter, Sarah, 20, and son, Omar, 21 - were allegedly taken by Saudi security forces in March from their home in Riyadh and have not been heard from since, a son told the newspaper in a report published on Wednesday.

Saudi tells Muslims to wait on Hajj plans amid coronavirus crisis

KONFRONTASI-Saudi Arabia has asked Muslims to wait until there is more clarity about the coronavirus pandemic before planning to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage, the Minister for Hajj and Umrah said on state TV on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage over fears of the new coronavirus spreading to Islam's holiest cities, an unprecedented move that raised uncertainty over the annual Hajj.

Saudi Arabia detains hundreds of government officials

KONFRONTASI-Anti-corruption body announces arrest of 298 people, will press charges for crimes such as bribery and em

Hundreds of government officials, including military and security personnel, have been detained in Saudi Arabia on charges involving bribery and exploiting public office.

The announcement late on Sunday by Saudi's National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) also said that investigators would bring charges against those currently held in custody.

Saudi sentences five to death, three to jail over Khashoggi murder

KONFRONTASI- Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death and three more to jail terms totaling 24 years over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October last year.

Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor and spokesman Shalaan al-Shalaan, reading out the verdict in the trial, said the court dismissed charges against the remaining three of the 11 people that had been on trial, finding them not guilty.

Will Imran Khan's Saudi-Iran tour ease tension in the region?

KONFRONTASI- Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan's visits to Iran and Saudi Arabia to help facilitate talks between the regional rivals have ended with no set commitments for dialogue although Tehran reiterated its readiness to come to the negotiating table.

Khan met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, late on Tuesday.

This followed a trip over the weekend to the Iranian capital Tehran to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei.

United States sending troops to bolster Saudi defenses after attack

KONFRONTASI- U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday approved sending American troops to bolster Saudi Arabia’s air and missile defenses after the largest-ever attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities, which Washington has squarely blamed on Iran.

The Pentagon said the deployment would involve a moderate number of troops - not numbering thousands - and would be primarily defensive in nature. It also detailed plans to expedite delivery of military equipment to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Reuters has previously reported that the Pentagon was considering sending anti-missile batteries, drones and more fighter jets. The United States is also considering keeping an aircraft carrier in the region indefinitely.

“In response to the kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a news briefing.

“We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves.”

The Pentagon’s late Friday announcement appeared to close the door to any imminent decision to wage retaliatory strikes against Iran following the attack, which rattled global markets and exposed major gaps in Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.

Trump said earlier on Friday that he believed his military restraint so far showed “strength,” as he instead imposed another round of economic sanctions on Tehran.

“Because the easiest thing I could do, ‘Okay, go ahead. Knock out 15 different major things in Iran.’ ... But I’m not looking to do that if I can,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

But the deployment could further aggravate Iran, which has responded to previous U.S. troop deployments this year with apprehension. It denies responsibility for the attack on Saudi Arabia.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which has been battling a Saudi-led military coalition that includes the UAE, has claimed responsibility for the strikes.

Iran rules out talks as Trump blames Tehran for Saudi oil attack

KONFRONTASI-Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday ruled out talks with Washington after President Donald Trump blamed Tehran for a crippling attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

Saudi King Salman called on governments around the world to confront the threats to oil supplies and global economic stability posed by the weekend attack. European allies said the crisis should be addressed collectively.

Sudan's al-Bashir admits receiving $25m from Saudi crown prince

KONFRONTASI-Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's former president, has told a court that he received $25m from Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince.

The 75-year-old, who was toppled in April in the wake of mass protests against his three-decade rule, made the statement on Saturday after a judge formally charged him with illicit possession of foreign currency and corruption. 

The offences could put al-Bashir behind bars for more than a decade. 

Yemeni separatists quit some Aden posts; Houthis attack Saudi oil plant

KONFRONTASI- Southern Yemeni separatists withdrew on Saturday from some government buildings in Aden that they seized last week but held on to military camps that give them control over the southern port, interim seat of Yemen’s ousted Saudi-backed government.

The separatists’ takeover of Aden has strained a Saudi-led military coalition formed to confront the Iranian-aligned Houthis, who bombed a Saudi oil facility on Saturday.

Pages