Not long ago, King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz appointed his son Muhammad bin Salman as the new Crown Prince, who just two days after adopting the appointment on June 21, 2017 allegedly made extremely belligerent statements to the Russian Federation.
A great irritation of the crown prince, who is the Defense Minister of the Kingdom at the same time, was caused by the Russia’s combat jets’ presence in Syria, which, according to him, are bombing the “rebels” of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” and supporting terrorist organizations. After that the prince started to openly threaten Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, declaring that the Saudis would no longer rely on “soft methods” alone. At the same time, he noted that the military capabilities of Saudi Arabia are enough to “destroy the Russian forces in Syria within three days.” This quotation was first posted at steigan.no and now obscurely deleted.
A number of mass media who quoted Muhammad bin Salman, reacted to his threats to Russia with irony. Journalists reminded the Prince’s failed “Decisive Storm” operation against the Houthi rebels (Shiite ‘Ansar Allah’) movement in the north of Yemen.
Having spent there more than two years the Saudi Arabia forces and the allied coalition of the monarchies of the Persian Gulf have not only achieved notable successes, but they have also suffered significant losses from the rebels who were inferior in numbers and had no heavy armament. To make up for the losses, the Saudis had to recruit mercenaries from Sudan and Pakistan. The responsibility for this failure lies primarily with Muhammad bin Salman, who at the time of the operation was the Defense Minister of the Kingdom. You do not have to be a military expert to answer whether the Kingdom is ready to compete with the nuclear power.
Another fact referring to Yemen is that Riyadh’s bombings of peaceful cities and attempts to put a regime loyal to the royal house of al Saud demonstrated how prince Salman actually “respects” the sovereignty of neighboring countries and the democratic choice of their population.
Saudi Arabia’s deep religious sectarian division affects the state’s political decisions. Shia Muslims have less rights in Saudi Arabia, ruled by al Saud clan, a Sunni of Wahhabi, who does not consider them as Muslims at all. At the same time, Saudi leaders consider Houthi Shiites, who came to power in Yemen, as “terrorist organization”, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Shiite Islam is the state religion, is called “the sponsor of world terrorism”.