Lots of changes in the Middle East as 11 princes and dozens of current and former ministers were arrested on charges of corruption in Saudi Arabia. The detentions came hours after the new committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was formed by royal decree. Prince Mohammed, who already serves as defense minister, now has nominal control over all the country’s security forces.
Meanwhile, Iran says the surprise resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is part of a plot to stoke tensions in the region. An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader accused the US and Saudi Arabia of being behind the move. Mr Hariri, in a televised broadcast from Saudi Arabia, accused Iran of sowing “fear and destruction” in several countries, including Lebanon, and that he was stepping down because he feared for his life.
Lastly, Turkish warplanes launched airstrikes for second day early on Saturday against suspected positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in several areas of the Kurdistan Region. Warplanes hit PKK bases in Qandil and surrounding areas. Earlier on Friday, fighter jets shelled two areas in the Kurdistan Region’s district of Amedi, causing terror among villagers in the area.