Saudi Prince Bandar to resume position as Intelligence Chief- US sets conditions
Story Code : 370906
Fast forward a few months and Prince Bandar has been taken out of the equation altogether.
Now reports from Saudi Arabia have confirmed that the infamous Spy Chief is ready to return to the fold and resume his activities as Head of Saudi Arabia Intelligence Agency.
Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan will return to the kingdom within days after spending around two months abroad for surgery and retake his position as intelligence chief, including control of the Syrian dossier, said Saudi security officials late Sunday.
The Saudi officials said that during Prince Bandar's absence, Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef was put in charge of the Syrian file and of the intelligence agency.
The three security officials said the 65 year-old prince was seeking medical attention in the U.S. and resting in Morocco after surgery on his shoulder. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Diplomatic sources said Washington had demanded the removal of Prince Bandar from the Syrian file because of his mismanagement of the situation in the country, which has been grappling with a foreign-backed crisis since March 2011.
On February 19, the Washington Post also reported that the Saudi interior minister had recently represented Saudi Arabia at a conclave of Western and Arab spymasters in the US, where he held talks with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice over the policies in Syria.
Bandar, who formerly served as Saudi ambassador to Washington for over 20 years, has been a staunch supporter of Takfiri militants operating against Syria.
He is widely believed to be the key figure trying to increase Saudi weapons flow to the foreign-backed militants in Syria fighting with President Bashar Assad’s government.
Currently “convalescing” in Marrakesh in the palace of his father, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, is preparing his return home.
But if the US is to tolerate his return in office it is under strict conditions. For one Prince Bandar will no longer be entrusted with the Syrian dossier, not since his Takfiri policy clashes with Washington’s new rule of engagement. And two, Prince Bandar shall no longer interfere with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as he is now Washington’s frontman.
Moreover, it is believed that as Al Saud royals prepare for succession, Prince Bandar offers unsuspected support to the Crown Prince by supporting the nomination of Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz as deputy Crown Prince to Saudi Arabia’s throne.