King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against Al Qaeda and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom has died at 90, according to Saudi state TV.
His successor is his 79-year-old half-brother, Prince Salman, who recently has taken on the ailing Abdullah’s responsibilities.
The announcement came in statement read by a presenter on Saudi state TV, which aired video of worshippers at the Kaaba in Mecca.
Saudi state TV said he died after midnight Friday.
A former American diplomat close to the Saudi royal family told Fox News the death of King Abdullah, coupled with the collapse of the government in Yemen, is a “worst case scenario” for the U.S. because current events are allowing Iran to extend its reach and influence in the region.
With the collapse of President Hadi’s government in Yemen, the former diplomat said Teheran’s influence is now seen in at least four Middle Eastern capitals – Sana’a in Yemen, Baghdad in Iraq, Damascus in Syria, and to a lesser extent in Beirut, Lebanon.
Source: Fox News