Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salmane is accused of commissioning the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to leaks in the media, the CIA estimates that Mohammed bin Salman has sponsored the murder of this Saudi journalist criticism of the regime …
Operation damage control. US intelligence services have no “direct” element linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. According to several American media, the CIA estimates that the assassination was sponsored by “MBS”.
“I think I read all the elements of the intelligence,” “there is no direct evidence linking the Crown Prince to the order to kill Jamal Khashoggi,” said Mike Pompeo to the press after being auditioned in camera by the Senate. With Defense Minister Jim Mattis, he gave an update on what Donald Trump’s administration knows about Khashoggi’s assassination in early October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Donald Trump had already said that the foreign intelligence agency had reached no definite conclusion. But American intelligence never delivers an absolute verdict: it assigns a degree of confidence to its conclusions. And according to the Washington Post, the CIA has a “high certainty” that the Crown Prince has ordered the assassination. To reach these conclusions, says the Washington Post, the CIA has examined several sources of intelligence, including a call between the brother of the powerful Crown Prince, also a Saudi ambassador to the United States, and Jamal Khashoggi. According to the daily, Khalid bin Salmane advised Jamal Khashoggi to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, assuring him that nothing would happen to him.
“Unshakeable” alliance with Riyadh
“What would happen if the United States withdrew from the effort in Yemen? Well guess: the war would not stop, “said MPP Pompeo to senators, who could vote on Wednesday on a text providing for the cessation of US military support to the coalition under Saudi command. According to the UN, this conflict, which has killed at least 10,000 people since 2015 and according to some NGOs up to five times more, has put at least 14 million people in the country, displaced by the fighting, to pre-famine.
Pompeo also defended the US President’s decision to maintain the “unshakable” alliance with Ryad despite suspicions of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder. And so tried to convince them not to vote against American involvement in the war in Yemen.
Resistance to Congress
On Tuesday, the Democrats criticized the absence of the boss of the CIA at the briefing, saying that the White House was seeking to protect his Saudi ally. Republican Senator Bob Corker, head of the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee of the Upper House and critic of the American billionaire, last week accused the White House of becoming “a public relations agency” for “MBS”.
“Saudi Arabia, because of its geographical location and the Iranian threat, is fundamental to maintaining regional and Israeli security, and our interests in stability in the Middle East,” insisted the Minister of Defense. “Long-term relationships guide but do not blind us,” says Jim Mattis.