The Saudi Arabian government is desperate to protect their de-facto ruler from involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
In an effort to provide some form of cover for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, they have changed their story again.
This time, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir admitted that it was a ‘murder’…but claimed it had been ‘a tremendous mistake’…but then denied that the crown prince had ordered the hit.
This is now the third change to the official story.
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Saudi story keeps changing
First, it was claimed he was alive and well.
Then, it was claimed he died as a result of a fight.
Finally, it was claimed he died as a result of a rogue operation — but the crown prince had nothing to do with it.
Like a character out of the Godfather, Jubeir said of the murder:
‘These things unfortunately happen.’
However the final version still doesn’t pass muster.
Turkish media is claiming that the crown prince received four phone calls from within the consulate after the killing.
This would reveal that the Turks are tapping the phones of foreign consulates, but at this stage of the investigation the phone tapping is inconsequential.
There is no doubt that the Middle East is an incredibly complex political environment.
The real story behind Khashoggi’s death
Turkey is acting as a facilitator of Western wrath, leveraging the murder of Khashoggi to further its own ambitions.
Let us not forget that Turkey purchases a significant portion of its natural gas from Iran and has helped Iran build a major new airport as well as new hospitals.
Iran has been locked in a struggle with Saudi Arabia for regional supremacy, with both countries fighting a proxy war in Yemen.
Approximately 3.8 million barrels of oil travel through Yemen’s Bab el-Mandeb strait.
It doesn’t take a genius to see what is going on here in light of The Australian Tribune’s recent discussion of the US’ arms deals with Saudi Arabia.
Any move to punish the Saudis would only strengthen the hands of Turkey and Iran, a fact these two countries are surely well aware of.
So sure, punish the Saudi’s for murdering a journalist, but there is a cost for everything in Middle Eastern politics.
By Lachlann Tierney
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