This whole wretched saga is beginning to look less like ‘War in the Middle East’ and more like ‘Carry On Up the Gulf’
The Saudis are taking a pasting. Video pictures from the Houthis of Saudi soldiers and their allies killed or surrendering inside the Saudi border town of Najran represent a devastating blow to a kingdom which is constantly threatening war against Iran.
If it can’t protect its own armed forces inside Saudi territory, what is the point of wasting time menacing Iran with military action over the massive destruction of the oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais almost two weeks ago?
This is the same Saudi Arabia which kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister Saad Hariri, bombed thousands of civilians in Yemen and tried to wipe out Qatar’s independence. Not to mention the little matter of chopping up Jamal Khashoggi almost one year ago in the country’s Istanbul consulate and then secretly burying bits of his body, for which Mohamed bin Salman – perhaps the worst crown prince in Saudi history – now takes national (but not personal) responsibility.
The news that King Salman’s personal bodyguard has now been murdered in Jeddah – by a “friend”, we are told – only adds a hysterical note to the chaos within the country.
Are the Americans now going to be asked to act as mercenaries for this bizarre kingdom?