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    With the execution rate in Saudi Arabia soaring to record highs this year, the government has reportedly beheaded five foreigners convicted of murder and robbery.

    Assange: US' Key Allies in Middle East Come Out of Washington's Shadow

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    Saudi Arabia and other key US allies in the Middle East have started asserting themselves more aggressively in the region after living years in the shadow of Washington, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in an interview published Sunday.

    VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — Assange said during the Vesti Nedeli (News of the Week) show on Russia’s Rossiya-1 TV channel:

    “There is increasing autonomy amongst the US allies in the region, pushing very aggressively.”

    Last week, Assange’s whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published a batch of more than 60,000 of what it said were classified Saudi diplomatic cables. The sensitive documents bore evidence of Riyadh’s role in the Syrian conflict that had led to the rise of the Islamist State militant group.

    The leak sought to prove that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey had a secret deal to topple Syria’s President Bashar Assad in 2012. Assange said that France, Britain and the United States had been involved as well.

    "Saudi has been one of the dogs of the United States in the Middle East on a leash, and you think the man is walking a dog, but sometimes, if it is a big dog, the dog starts pulling a man," he noted.

    WikiLeaks pledged to release over half a million of sensitive Saudi documents in total, including top secret reports by the Saudi Ministry of Interior and General Intelligence Agency.

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    Tags:
    Middle East, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, United States, Saudi Arabia
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