In what may signal a shift in U.S.-Saudi relations, the release of a declassified intelligence report says Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince approved an operation to kill or capture Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The Washington Post columnist was killed during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. From the Saudi government … a swift rejection of the U.S. assessment of Mohammed bin Salman’s role, calling the report “negative, false and unacceptable.” Saudi Arabia blamed Khashoggi’s death on rogue security officials.
But the U.S. intelligence report says “Since 2017, the Crown Prince had absolute control of the Kingdom’s security and intelligence operations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization.”
And in another big story —U.S. President Biden ordered airstrikes in Syria targeting Iranian-backed militias. The Pentagon says the assault was in response to recent attacks against American and coalition forces in the region.
Syria is condemning the attack which one war monitor group says killed at least 22-people. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin described the mission.
- Salman Al-Ansari is the founder and president of the Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee.
- Trita Parsi is the Executive Vice President at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations.
- Brian Becker is the Executive Director of the ANSWER Coalition.
- Joseph Williams is a senior news editor with U.S. News and World Report.
Breaking News: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia approved the 2018 assassination of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. intelligence report said. https://t.co/zYKJ4gGH6S
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2021
#STATEMENT | The Government of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Completely Rejects the Assessment in the Report Submitted to US’ Congress Regarding Murder of Saudi Citizen Jamal Khashoggi pic.twitter.com/VQwYpBjvvX
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) February 26, 2021