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    Gen. James Mattis, the head of U.S. Central Command

    Former General Says Saudi Stability Unchanged by King’s Death, Yemen Issue

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    Former commander of US Central Command General James Mattis claims that the stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue despite the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Saud and the collapse of the government of Yemen.

    WASHINGTON, January 24 (Sputnik) — The stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue despite the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Saud and the collapse of the government of Yemen, former commander of US Central Command General James Mattis told Sputnik on Friday.

    The sixth king of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Saud died at the age of 90
    © AP Photo / Saudi Press Agency
    “There is no instability in Saudi Arabia as a result of this,” General Mattis said. Asked if there would be any challenges in the regional power dynamics in the Persian Gulf, Mattis added, “Iran is a problem, and they’ll take advantage [of the situation].”

    Iran is alleged by the United States to be backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the opposition group that effectively toppled the US-backed government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi this week. General Mattis observed that “Iran will continue it’s mischief” referring to possible Iranian advantages resulting in the coincidence of the Saudi King’s death occurring at the exact time the Yemeni government fell.

    Mattis was asked by reporters on Friday whether the deteriorating situation in Yemen was a concern, and he paraphrased the remarks of the UN envoy to Yemen saying, “We’re in uncharted territory now.”

    On Thursday, the United States pulled some of its diplomatic personnel out of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa following the deterioration of the government, according to US officials. The Yemeni government had been a key ally in US counter-terrorism operations, particularly against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    General Mattis was in charge of US military activities in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia from 2010 until 2012.



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