TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A prominent Lebanese political analyst said Saudi Arabia’s veteran intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been sidelined due to the failure of his Syria mission.
Director of Lebanon’s Center for Arab and International Studies Ghalib Qandil told Tasnim on Tuesday that Bandar was replaced as the leader of Saudi Arabia’s operations in Syria, because he has failed in his Syria mission.
Qandil said by going to the US supposedly for medical treatment, Bandar sought to conceal his failure to deliver Washington’s goals in Syria.
He noted that the replacement was made at the demand of the United States, adding that Riyadh closely follows what Washington dictates to it.
Reports said earlier this week that Bandar Bin Sultan is no more the leader of the Saudi Arabia’s efforts to arm and fund the Takfiri (extremist) terrorists who have been fighting the Syrian government.
The kingdom has been the main supplier of weapons and funds to foreign-backed militants inside Syria.
American newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, quoted Saudi royal advisers as saying that Bandar was replaced with another prince well-regarded by US officials.
Asked why the Saudi government has not yet officially confirmed the sidelining of Bandar, the Lebanese political expert said it is likely that it will be officially announced during or after the upcoming visit to the kingdom by US President Barack Obama “so that (the visit) could somehow overshadow the turmoil and rift within the Saudi royal family.”
Obama plans to meet Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in March. The US president’s visit to Riyadh is said to be aimed at appeasing the kingdom’s frustration with nuclear talks between Iran and the sextet of world powers.
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