Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi aides over Khashoggi death

Arturo Kim
December 6, 2018

Top senators eager to target Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi plan to meet Thursday to try to cut a bipartisan deal curtailing U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, suspend arms sales with the Saudi kingdom and rebuke the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

"I just don't know what it is going to be, or who will be implicated, but we will follow it as far as we can".

While Senate passage of a resolution would send a strong message to Saudi Arabia, it's unlikely it would become law before the end of the year. However, for two weeks Saudi Arabia tried to press that Jamal Khashoggi left the consulate after 20 minutes of entering but under intense global outcry and pressure from allies, Saudi Arabia finally claimed that the journalist was killed in a fist-fight after officials asked him to return to his home country to get all the necessary papers.

A bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers has introduced a resolution condemning Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and declaring in no uncertain terms that he is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The crown prince is "crazy" and "a wrecking ball" who is "complicit in the murder of Mr Khashoggi to the highest level possible", Graham said in withering criticism of an American ally.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an ally of President Donald Trump, did not hold back his condemnation of "MbS", as Bin Salman has come to be known in Western media. Graham is quick to defend Pompeo and Mattis, calling them "good soldiers" in his statement, but he throws Trump under the bus. "The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region". "They have done, I believe, some permanent damage to that standing".

The journalist was a vocal critic of the kingdom's royal family.

On Wednesday, Mattis said Graham "has the right to his own opinion". Whatever was revealed in that Central Intelligence Agency briefing had to be irrefutable for so much of Trump's senate supporters to lash out like this.

While acknowledging the country's long relationship with Saudi Arabia, senators have said the murder can't be excused. Graham is likely to receive support from the Democrats, who unlikely to miss the opportunity to take foreign policy decision out of the hands of the President.

In terms of what can be done to punish the crown prince, Lobb explained that Congress could work toward ceasing US support - including military hardware, intelligence and logistical cooperation - for the Saudi-led war in Yemen against the Houthi rebels.

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