Saudi Arabia replaces military commanders in late-night reshuffle

Saudi Arabia has sacked a number of top military commanders in a late-night political reshuffle Monday that saw the c...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 10:31 AM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 10:31 AM

Saudi Arabia has sacked a number of top military commanders in a late-night political reshuffle Monday that saw the country's monarch issue 39 royal decrees.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud had issued the orders that included the dismissal of the chief of general staff and the commanders of the country's air defense force, Land Forces and Strategic Missiles Force.

The decrees related to military appointments were issued "based on recommendations of the Minister of Defense," according to one of royal decrees.

The current Defense Minister is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is first in line to inherit the throne from his 82-year-old father, King Salman.

The 32-year-old is seen as a key power player behind the king and a reformer by Saudi standards.

Saudi Arabia has waged a years-long military campaign in Yemen in support of the internationally recognized government that the Houthi rebels drove out of the capital, Sanaa.

First female vice minister

Changes and appointments were also made to several government posts, including naming the first female deputy minister -- Tamadhir bint Yosif bin Moqbil Alrammah as deputy minister of labor and social development.

Since his appointment some restrictions on women have been eased and last year, the Crown Prince vowed to destroy "extremist ideologies" in a bid to return to "a more moderate Islam."

The appointment of the female deputy minister came one day after the kingdom announced Sunday that women can apply to be soldiers for the first time in modern history of the country, the SPA announced.

SPA said that Lieutenant General Fayyadh bin Hamid bin Ragad Al-Rwaili would replace General Staff Abdulrahman bin Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Bunyan as Chief of General Staff.

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