Chronology: Saudi Arabia

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2014 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Saudi Arabia


See also Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Syria, Yemen

Feb. 3: King 'Abdullah issued a royal decree that would punish any Saudi who joined a foreign conflict with 3-20 years in prison. He also made joining or supporting an extremist terrorist organization punishable by 5-30 years in prison. The decree came a day after a new counterterrorism law went into effect which made almost any criticism of the government illegal. An estimated 1,200 Saudis had traveled to Syria to fight in its civil war. [Daily Star, 2/3]

Feb. 5: Saudi Arabia became the fourth-largest military spender in the world in 2013, allocating at least $59.6 billion of its budget to defense. The Kingdom climbed from seventh to fourth on the list as a result of spending related to increased tensions with Iran, the war in Syria, cuts in European defense ministries, and a favorable exchange rate. [Reuters, 2/5]

Feb. 7: A 24-year-old female student at King Saud University in Riyadh died from a heart attack after medics in an ambulance were denied access to the building she was in because her legal male guardian was not present to grant them permission. The incident sparked an angry response from other female students on social media. [Daily Star, 2/7]

Feb. 11: The Yemeni defense ministry handed over 29 al-Qa'ida militants to Saudi authorities. The militants were all of Saudi origin, and the move came after Saudi Arabia toughened its stance against Islamist militants. [Reuters, 2/11]

Feb. 25: Researchers from the US and Saudi Arabia released a report that found that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infected dromedary camels as far back as 1992 and the infection was found in 75% of camels in the sample. …

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