AFP reports: He wields enormous power and leads a war against rebels in neighbouring Yemen for his father King Salman, but Saudi Arabia’s defence minister is still in his early 30s.
Just weeks after he was appointed to the key post in January, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman assumed huge responsibility when the kingdom sent its armed forces into conflict.
The young prince has overseen nearly a month of air strikes by a Saudi-led regional coalition against the Yemeni rebels. Eight Saudi troops have also died in skirmishes along the border.
Prince Mohammad, part of a new generation of Saudi rulers, also heads the royal court, is special adviser to his 79-year-old father and sits on two key political and economic councils.
“He is the strong man in Saudi Arabia,” a Western diplomatic source said. “Look what this man is controlling,” including access to the king.
“He oversees everything important which is going on in this country.”
The exact age of Mohammad, who sports a full dark beard, is uncertain. [Continue reading…]
The Associated Press reports: Saudi-led coalition warplanes launched dozens of airstrikes on Yemen’s southern port city of Aden Saturday, as Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies mobilized hundreds of reinforcements in an effort to wrest control of the city from militias supporting embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, security officials and eyewitnesses said.
The officials said opposing fighters faced off in fierce street battles in the Aden neighborhoods of Khour Makser and Dar Saad as the Houthis try to gain a foothold in the districts.
“The planes were carrying out airstrikes every 10 minutes and continued throughout the night,” said Aden resident Mohammed al-Kheir.