On April 20, 2013, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah dismissed Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz (63 years). He was immediately replaced by Prince Fahd Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman (pictured).

This is the first time that a member of the royal family is given the sack. No information seeped out about the reasons for this decision.

The post of Defense Minister is held by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Although prone to dementia, he exerts influence through London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat, owned by one of his sons. His former deputy, Prince Khaled bin Sultan, is one of the leaders of the powerful "Sudeiri clan," like himself.

Prince Khaled bin Sultan played an important role in the 1991 "Desert Storm" operation. On the death of his father in 2011, he became Deputy Defense Minister. He owes some of his influence to his personally-owned daily newspaper Al-Hayat, which like its main rival Asharq al-Awsat is headquartered in London. In 2009, he engaged in the Yemeni conflict with no significant results.

One of Prince Fahd bin Abdullah’s sons is married to a daughter of Prince Khaled bin Sultan.