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Published On: Fri, Jan 23rd, 2015

Middle East: Saudi King Abdullah dead, Yemen’s government falls

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at 90 after midnight Friday, according to Saudi state TV. His successor is his 79-year-old half-brother, Prince Salman, who recently has taken on the ailing Abdullah’s responsibilities.

The announcement came in statement read by a presenter on Saudi state TV, which aired video of worshippers at the Kaaba in Mecca.

A former American diplomat close to the Saudi royal family told Fox News the death of King Abdullah, coupled with the collapse of the government in Yemen, is a “worst case scenario” for the U.S. because current events are allowing Iran to extend its reach and influence in the region.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia   photo Tina Hager, public domain per wikipedia

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia photo Tina Hager, public domain per wikipedia

With the collapse of President Hadi’s government in Yemen, the former diplomat said Teheran’s influence is now seen in at least four Middle Eastern capitals – Sana’a in Yemen, Baghdad in Iraq, Damascus in Syria, and to a lesser extent in Beirut, Lebanon.

In a written statement issued shortly after the announcement of Abdullah’s death, President Obama expressed condolences and said, ” I always valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.

“One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond.”

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned on Thursday, days after Houthi rebels battled their way into his presidential palace and now the unstable Arab country is in chaos.

“This is a coup,” said Ahmed al-Fatesh, a hotel security supervisor, suggesting Hadi had been bullied from office. “The Houthis took power by force. Hadi is a legitimate president and was elected by more than 6 million Yemenis. Hadi tried to bring the political forces together.”

In the first sign that the turmoil would affect U.S. operations inYemen, Washington said it had pulled out more staff from its embassy in Sana due to the worsening security situation.

“While the Embassy remains open and is continuing to operate, we may continue to re-align resources based on the situation on the ground,” a senior State Department Official told Reuters.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. President Obama flies to Middle East, meets Saudi King Salman - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] President Obama made a quick trip to the Middle East, meeting with the new Saudi leader, King Salman, days after the passing of King Abdullah. […]

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