What happened to Saudi crown prince Salman’s $550m yacht?

Mystery over Mohammed bin Salman’s yacht

The luxurious private yacht of Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been involved in an accident near Sanafir in the Red Sea, according to the Asrar Arabia website

The incident, on 23 August, caused serious damage to the structure of the yacht, including a water leak.

The website said that the prince paid $550m for the yacht, the New York Times reported last October.

The site, which shared pictures and maps of the exact location of the accident, said that the yacht’s insurers have refused to pay out amid allegations that personnel on board the boat were responsible for the incident.

Emirati vehicles in Houthis celebration

Houthi fighters have been showing off armoured Emirati vehicles in Sanaa during the third anniversary of their invasion of the capital, according to London-based newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi.

Observers in the Yemeni capital have asked how the group came by the military hardware. Some sources believe that they were captured from the frontline – but others  point out that the vehicles are intact and carry no battlefield damage.

One theory holds that the Houthis may have been bribed by UAE forces in exchange for a tactical withdrawal in some areas, the site reported, allowing the pro-UAE forces to advance in southern Yemen and show they are making military progress.

Saudi university cracks down on Brotherhood links

The Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, one of the largest public universities in Saudi Arabia, said it will no longer work with academics suspected of having links with the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Algerian newspaper El-Khabar.

The university board issued an order to cancel the renewing of contracts with “Saudi and non-Saudi contractors who are influenced by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

However, the newspaper said, the university did not publish the names nor number of academics who are likely to be dismissed.

ISIS collapse in Raqqa continues

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces now control 90 per cent of Raqqa, after four months of attacks on the Islamic State-controlled city, according to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Hayat.

The newspaper said that “ISIS looks unable to withstand the heavy airstrikes carried out by US-led coalition” and noted that ISIS fighters retreated from at least five neighbourhoods of Raqqa within the past 48 hours.