The royal decree said the decision to relieve Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdul-Aziz of his post came upon the recommendation of Crown Prince Salman, the defence minister. No reason was given for the order.
Saudi Arabia’s military forces are on high alert, watching with growing concern as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists advance on Jordan.
Saudi’s government-run news agency put out a statement, reported by CNN: “Anticipating [that] the terrorist organizations or others might carry out actions that might disturb the security of the homeland, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has ordered taking all necessary measures to protect the gains of the homeland and its territories in addition to the security and stability of the Saudi people.”
CNN reported ISIL has taken control of security posts in Iraq, right on the border with Jordan. Threatened, Saudi King Abdullah ordered the nation’s army into high alert, CNN said.
Prince Khaled was moved to the post of deputy defence minister in May when King Abdullah removed him from his position as governor of Riyadh Province and appointed his son, Prince Turki, in his place.
The move was seen as strengthening the grip of his branch of the ruling dynasty as it approaches a difficult decision over how to transfer power to the next generation.
King Abdullah has made a series of changes and appointments over the past two years that have consolidated the position of his allies in the family.