Manama (Bahrain), US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has warned that incidents like the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has undermined Middle Eastern stability and United States would take additional measures against those responsible.
“US does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence.” rfe/rl reported quoting Mr Mattis who was speaking at a meeting in the Bahrain capital, Manama.
Khashoggi, 59, a US resident and Washington Post columnist, who was critical of Saudi rulers had disappeared after walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain marriage documents. Turkey alleges a 15-member “hit squad” was sent to kill the journalist.
Saudi Arabia has said it arrested 18 people in connection with Khashoggi’s killing. After international pressure Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on October 25 that the killing of Khashoggi was premeditated, reversing previous official statements that his death was unintended.
Taking note of the brutal murder, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also announced moves against 21 Saudis to either revoke their visas or make them ineligible for US visas. “Our secretary of state has already revoked visas and will be taking additional measures,” Mattis added.