situation report

May 20, 2019 | 15:50 GMT

2 mins read

Saudi Arabia: King Salman Invites Arab Leaders to Attend Summits Addressing Regional Security

What Happened: Saudi King Salman has invited other leaders from Arab states and Gulf Cooperation Council nations to attend two summits in Mecca to address regional stability following the May 12 attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and a May 14 pipeline attack by Houthi rebels, Reuters reported May 18.

Why It Matters: Saudi Arabia is seeking to establish a unified front in responding to what it perceives an encroaching Iranian threat to regional security, although Riyadh's decision not to invite Qatar to the summit highlights the politicized nature of the Saudi strategy to counter Iran.

Background: Saudi Arabia said May 20 that it intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Houthi rebels, although a spokesperson for the group denied that it had fired a missile. A Houthi-aligned news station has said that last week's attack on the Saudi East-West pipeline was the start of a military operation that includes 300 military targets in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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