Title Title
Riyadh_Skyline_New Timeline - Saudi Arabia shakes up Middle Eastern politics
Summary Summary
  Deciphering a dramatic week of Middle Eastern politicking
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  <strong>This is a developing story which will be updated as news emerges. To contribute, SIGN IN to make an edit or go to the TALK page.</strong>
  In a historic week of domestic and regional power plays, observers of Middle Eastern politics scrambled to stay abreast of developments and decipher motives coming out of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riyadh">Riyadh</a>, starting on Saturday, November 4.
  <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_bin_Salman">Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman</a> <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-arrests/saudi-says-it-has-questioned-208-in-graft-inquiry-100-billion-stolen-idUKKBN1D91BF">launched </a>a corruption probe that has so far seen 208 government officials and royal family members brought in for questioning.
  Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-politics-hariri/lebanon-pm-hariri-resigns-assails-iran-and-hezbollah-idUSKBN1D40DY?il=0">resigned </a>while in Riyadh, a move that many fear was forced by the Saudi government in a bid to upset the power balance in Beirut.
  A <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-missiles/saudi-arabia-says-it-intercepts-missile-close-to-capital-idUKKBN1D40T8">rocket fired by Houthi rebels</a> at Riyadh has been linked to Tehran and Saudi Arabia responded by tightening border controls on war-torn Yemen, raising fears of an escalation of the humanitarian crisis there.
  <strong>Saturday, November 4</strong>
   <li>Houthi rebels in Yemen<a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-missiles/saudi-arabia-says-it-intercepts-missile-close-to-capital-idUKKBN1D40T8"> fired rockets</a> at the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The attack was thwarted by Saudi Arabia's U.S.-manufactured missile shield.</li>
   <li>Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced resignation via TV in Riyadh, citing "sedition" by Iran. In a <a href="http://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&amp;newsid=1684231#1684231">statement </a>carried by Saudi state news agency SPA, Hariri said "when Iran comes to any place, it does only plant in it sedition and destruction."</li>
   <li>Saudi Arabia's King Salman <a href="https://apnews.com/cdf85905d9ce4c9cb9c55b7698cb8ef6/Senior-Saudi-royal-ousted,-princes-reportedly-arrested">removed a prominent prince </a>from leadership of the National Guard and replaced the economy minister. He also announced the creation of a new corruption committee as the reshuffle turned into what was quickly <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-arrests/future-saudi-king-tightens-grip-on-power-with-arrests-including-prince-alwaleed-idUKKBN1D5078">termed</a> a "purge". Royal family-owned <em>Al-Arabiya</em> reported 11 princes and dozens of former ministers were detained.</li>
   <li>Heir to the thrown Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was appointed to lead the corruption probe, which included the arrest of the powerful business leader Alwaleed bin Talal. According to <a href="https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/06/saudi-arabia-mohammed-bin-salman-215792">Politico</a>, the arrested also include two sons of the previous Saudi king.</li>
  <strong>Sunday, November 5</strong>
   <li>Senior officials confirmed that the "purge" was part of the corruption probe, they<a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-arrests-accusations/saudi-princes-accused-of-bribery-embezzlement-money-laundering-official-idUKKBN1D516E"> told Reuters</a> that the mass arrests were based on charges of fraud, embezzlement and money-laundering.</li>
  <strong>Monday, November 6</strong>
   <li>Saudi Arabia <a href="http://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&amp;newsid=1684682#1684682" rel="external">accused Iran</a> of “a blatant act of military aggression,” saying that missiles recently fired at Riyadh by Yemeni Houthi militias originated in Iran. Tehran denies arming the rebels.</li>
   <li>Riyadh tightened the blockade on Yemen.</li>
   <li>Yemeni officials <a href="https://apnews.com/4e4a659cc61d479d96e9591c80ef13d3/Saudi-barred-Yemeni-president-from-going-home,-officials-say">told AP</a> that their president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has been barred from leaving Riyadh, possibly as part of a feud with the UAE, who are a key player in the Saudi-led coalition against rebels in Yemen.</li>
   <li>A helicopter crash killed a Saudi prince, who was deputy governor of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Asir_Region">Asir </a>province.</li>
  <strong>Tuesday, November 7</strong>
   <li>Lebanese officials <a href="https://apnews.com/438e9347b26f4cecab0da5a2708a530e/Lebanese-fear-PM's-resignation-was-a-Saudi-power-play">told AP</a> they fear that Hariri's resignation was part of a regional power play, with Saudi Arabia attempting to upset the delicate balance holding together Lebanon's government. A shift in the make-up of the Lebanese government could upset Iran-linked Shi'a group <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah">Hezbollah</a>, which <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-lebanon-politics-hezbollah/hezbollah-says-saudi-arabia-forced-lebanon-pm-to-resign-idUKKBN1D50WG">already accused </a>Riyadh of forcing Hariri to resign.</li>
  <strong>Wednesday, November 8</strong>
Riyadh skyline <ul>
   <li>The U.S. gave its backing to Saudi Arabia, with ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-iran-usa/u-s-calls-for-u-n-action-against-iran-over-yemen-missile-idUSKBN1D7251?il=0">calling for</a> the diplomatic body to "hold the Iranian regime accountable" for allegedly providing weapons to the Houthi rebels.</li>
   <li>The UN <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-saudi-un/u-n-warns-if-no-yemen-aid-access-world-will-see-largest-famine-in-decades-idUKKBN1D839H">warned</a> that the tightened blockade on Yemen could cause “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades with millions of victims.”</li>
  <strong>Thursday, November 9</strong>
   <li>French President Emanuel Macron <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-emirates-saudi/macron-unexpectedly-heads-to-riyadh-to-discuss-crises-with-crown-prince-idUKKBN1D92BU">announced </a>that he will travel to Riyadh to meet Mohammad bin Salman. Macron was already in Dubai and told a news conference he wanted to meet the crown prince and discuss regional stability.</li>
   <li>SPA <a href="http://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&amp;newsid=1686201#1686201">reported </a>that Saudi nationals are being told to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible".</li>
   <li>Neighbouring UAE <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-arrests/saudi-graft-inquiry-spreads-beyond-borders-as-uae-examines-bank-accounts-idUKKBN1D91BF">asked </a>banks to provide information about accounts held by those arrested in the Saudi corruption probe.</li>
   <li>According to a <a href="http://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&amp;newsid=1686225#1686225">statement </a>carried by SPA, a total of 208 people have been called in for questioning, only seven of whom were released without charge. The corruption probe covers an estimated $100 billion of funds misappropriated over several decades.</li>
  <strong>Friday, November 10</strong>
   <li>Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun told a Saudi official that Hariri's resignation is unacceptable. Reuters, which <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-lebanon-politics-jumblatt/lebanons-aoun-tells-saudi-envoy-hariri-must-return-idUKKBN1DA0P3" rel="external">cites unnamed sources</a>, reports that Aoun told the Saudi envoy to Lebanon that Hariri must return to Beirut.</li>
   <li>Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah, <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-lebanon-politics-jumblatt/hezbollah-says-saudi-declares-war-on-lebanon-detains-hariri-idUKKBN1DA0P3">said in a televised address</a> that it is clear that Hariri is detained in Riyadh and that "Saudi Arabia and Saudi officials have declared war on Lebanon".</li>
   <li>The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen <a href="http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security/saudi-led-coalition-opens-yemen-border-crossing-aid-agencies-warn-of-famine-idUKKBN1DA2AN">reopened </a>its land border to allow aid into the country, though the <a href="http://www.who.int/en/">WHO </a>and aid agencies warned that the risk of famine is still severe and called for ports to be opened.</li>
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