JEDDAH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received in Riyadh on Tuesday newly appointed military chiefs who were promoted by royal decrees issued late Monday by King Salman. The decrees approved plans for the development of the Saudi Ministry of Defense, and made a number of key civil and military appointments.
The Crown Prince, who is also the country’s defense minister, received the new Chief of Staff, Gen Fayad Al-Ruwaili. He also welcomed Lt Gen Fahd bin Turki, who was appointed as Commander of the Joint Forces, Lt Gen Mutlaq bin Salim, who was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff, and Lt Gen Jarallah bin Mohammed, who was appointed as Commander of the Strategic Missile Force.
Prince Mohammed also received Lt Gen Fahd bin Abdullah, who was appointed as Commander of the Ground Forces, Lt Gen Mezyed bin Sulaiman, who was appointed as Commander of the Air Defense Forces, and Lt Gen Turki bin Bandar, who was appointed as Commander of the Air Force. During the reception, the Crown Prince congratulated them on their new military ranks, wishing them success in serving their religion and their homeland. The newly-appointed military officials in turn expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the king and the crown prince for their trust. King Salman on Monday replaced top military commanders including the chief of staff, state media said, in a major shake-up of the kingdom’s defence establishment. No official reason was given for the sweeping overhaul, but it comes as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues military reform and a bloody campaign against Yemen’s Houthi rebels nears the end of its third year.
“Termination of the services of General Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan, Chief of Staff,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced, adding that Fayyad al-Ruwaili had been appointed as his replacement.
Al-Bunyan was retired after he inaugurated an arms exhibition this week in Riyadh by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the state-owned defence company, which has drawn several global defence firms.