Saudis 'Let Down' by Lack of U.S. Action on Houthis, Says Senior Royal

While U.S.-Saudi relations have suffered under Biden's tenure, the U.S. has recently increased military support for Riyadh in a bid to mend security ties

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
FILE: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2019.
FILE: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2019.Credit: Handout ./ REUTERS

Saudi Arabia feels "let down" by the United States in tackling security threats to the kingdom and regional security by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement, a senior member of the Saudi royal family and former intelligence chief said.

Traditionally strong ties between Riyadh and Washington have been shaken under U.S. President Joe Biden by the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents and the ruinous Yemen war in which a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for seven years.

"Saudis consider the relationship as being strategic, but [feel] as being let down at a time when we thought that America and Saudi Arabia should be together in facing what we would consider to be a joint, not just irritant, but danger to the stability and security of the area," Prince Turki al-Faisal said, referring to Houthi missile and drone attacks.

His remarks came in a video interview with Saudi newspaper Arab News published Monday.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which rely on the U.S. security umbrella, have chafed at what they see as declining U.S. commitment to their region. The Ukraine conflict highlighted strains as the Gulf OPEC producers resisted calls to help isolate Russia and pump more oil to tame prices.

"We've had our ups and downs over the years, and perhaps at this time it's one of the downs, particularly since the president of the United States in his election campaign said that he will make Saudi Arabia a pariah and of course he went on to practice what he preached," said Prince Turki.

The former ambassador to Washington went on to list Biden's decision to end U.S. support for coalition offensive operations in Yemen, not meet with de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and withdraw U.S. anti-missile systems from the kingdom, the world's top oil exporter.

In recent months, the United States has increased military support for Riyadh in a bid to mend ties, Western diplomats have said.

Prince Turki holds no government office now but remains influential as chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op