RiyadhThe Saudi royal family – the House of Saud – is throwing up one intrigue after another.
Hours after the reported death of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, his nephew and son of late King Fahd’s eldest surviving son, Prince Turki bin Mohamed bin Fahd has fled the country. His destination, according to speculation among those who are watching the situation closely, is, wait for it, Iran.
If this is true, this may put new strain on Tehran and Riyadh, already at loggerheads for dominance in the restive Middle East region, where Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting, what analysts term, a proxy war in Yemen.
What makes Prince Turki bin Mohamed bin Fahd’s reported flight to Iran, where he is said to have sought asylum, interesting, apart from his destination, is that it comes at a time when Saudi aviation authorities are said to have been told not to let any of the oil-rich kingdom’s many royals fly out of the country.
Of course,with the outflow of information from Saudi Arabia particularly restricted right now, all reports of developments on the region must be taken with a pinch of salt.
Turki bin Mohamed, is the son of Muhammad bin Fahd Al Saud, the second-oldest son of late Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and is also the grandnephew of the current King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
This is the same King Salman whose son Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (known informally as MBS) is believed to be have orchestrated what many are seeing as a coup by sideling prominent Saudi royals and taking decisions that could win over the country’s liberal quarters.
2 DEATHS AND FLIGHT TO FREEDOM
Turki bin Mohamed’s reported escape to Iran, where he has reportedly sought asylum, comes just a day after two Saudi princes reportedly died in mysterious conditions.
Yesterday, there were strong rumours and reports that Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd, the youngest son of late King Fahd, died in a gunbattle with Saudi security forces while resisting arrest.
The Arabic website AlIthad News carried a report quoting a Saudi Royal Court notification to say that the Saudi royal family mourned the death of Prince Abdul Aziz but did not mention a reason for his reported death.
Abdul Aziz’s death itself came merely hours after Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin, the son of former Crown Prince Muqrin al-Saud, died in a helicopter crash. According to an Al Jazeera report, the cause of the crash, which took place near the Yemen border, wasn’t immediately known.
The Saudi-run Al Arabiya even posted a video of Mansour Bin Muqrin boarding the ill-fated chopper.
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