AP News

Saudi king replaces air force commander


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's monarch has replaced the commander of the kingdom's air force.

The official Saudi Press Agency says that Crown Prince Salman received Lt. Gen. Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Ayesh on Saturday, the day after King Abdullah issued a decree referring him to retirement.

The prince also received his replacement as commander, Lt. Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed bin Raqad.

No reasons were given for the decrees, and it was not clear if al-Ayesh had been scheduled to retire.

Last month, the monarch relieved deputy defense minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan, who headed Arab coalition forces during the U.S.-led Gulf War that drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991. Prince Khaled was replaced with former navy commander Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdul-Rahman.


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