Riyadh appointed on Tuesday a new commander for the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen following the sacking of the erstwhile chief over corruption allegations.
Lt. Gen. Mutlaq bin Salim bin Mutlaq al-Azima replaces Prince Fahad bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as acting commander of the joint forces, in addition to his position as deputy chief of general staff, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Al-Azima served in 2011 as commander of the Peninsula Shield Joint Forces of the Gulf States Council during protests in Bahrain.
He was a member of the intelligence unit in Saudi land forces during the 1991 Kuwait war, and has also worked as a military adviser at the Ministry of Defense, according to the SPA.
In a royal decree, King Salman removed Prince Fahd and relieved his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd of his post as deputy governor of al-Jouf region.
The decision was based on the advice from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Nazaha, the anti-corruption authority, to investigate “suspicious financial transactions at the Defense Ministry.”
In 2017, the crown prince launched an anti-corruption campaign that saw scores of royals, ministers and businessmen detained in the capital’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. Most of them were later released after reaching unspecified financial settlements with the authorities.
Critics say he is sidelining rivals and crushing dissent before his eventual succession to the throne.
Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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