“Saudi Arabia can destroy Iran in eight hours,” Saudi prince Abdullah bin Sultan bin Nasser al-Saud tweeted in Arabic Thursday, posting a quotation from a video interview with a Saudi analyst.
Originally aired on Saudi Arabia’s Channel 24 in 2016, the video shows Saudi F-15 warplanes and Iran’s F-4 Phantom jets, saying the kingdom is in possession of advanced jets and weaponry while those of Iran are all old and outdated.
In his Thursday tweet, the prince said, “Of course, this is a segment of two years, before buying and developing air defense systems, naval forces, land, and air with advanced missiles.”
“What is hidden is greater. There is no force in the world that can stand up to our unity, our resolve, our renaissance and thank God.”
Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia has been following a confrontational policy. Riyadh severed diplomatic relations with Tehran over angry protests in Iran following the execution of a Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia in January 2016.
The kingdom has been waging a massive war against Yemen – the most impoverished country in the Arab world – since 2015, but four years on, it remains stuck in a “quagmire”, the New York Times wrote in July.
Pentagon officials “have concluded on their own that the war has degenerated into an unwinnable quagmire and have urged the Saudis for months to try to negotiate an end to the fighting,” the newspaper said.
Saudis stuck in Yemen, seek US assitance: NY TimesNY Times says Saudi crown prince’s military ‘quagmire’ in Yemen has further pushed Riyadh to plead for US assistance.
The Saudis which started the war in their own “shock and awe” style, with the alleged “coalition” of nine countries, have seen the tide of the conflict turn against them.
Yemen’s Houthi fighters and their allies in the army are now using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles to offset the coalition’s overwhelming military advantage.
A hasty withdrawal of Saudi Arabia’s closest ally in the war, the United Arab Emirates, in June has prompted the frustrated Saudis to turn to additional US support in hopes of achieving a breakthrough, the New York Times said.
UAE withdraws ‘large’ number of troops from YemenThe United Arab Emirates has withdrawn large numbers of troops from the embattled country of Yemen allegedly in fear of escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.
Any US assistance, however, has not come without humiliation.
In 2018, US Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News that Saudi Arabia’s military “can’t fight out of a paper bag” when confronted with Mideast challenges including Iran.
“Let me put it this way — I want to be very blunt with you. If it weren’t for the United States they’d be speaking Farsi in about a week in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
In October 2018, Iran extended an offer of cooperation in the face of “humiliation” by US President Donald Trump, who said Saudi Arabia would fall within two weeks without protection from the US.
“We again extend our hand to our neighbors: let’s build a ‘strong region’, and stop this conceit,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted just after Trump’s recount of a phone conversation with King Salman.
Trump, which has signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi leaders, made the remarks as he urged Riyadh and the rest of the “rich” Arab countries in the Persian Gulf to cough up cash for American support.
“I love the King, King Salman. But I said ‘King, we’re protecting you, you might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military,’” Trump said at a Mississippi rally in undiplomatic remarks, without specifying when the comments to the monarch had been made.