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Man wrongly detained over Khashoggi speaks of treatment by French security forces

A man wrongly imprisoned in connection to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has described his treatment at the hands of French security forces.

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Saudi citizen Khaled al-Otaibi spoke about the “filthy” conditions he was held in after being arrested at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday.

“They detained me in a filthy room of which the walls were stained with blood, where I could neither take rest nor sleep,” al-Otaibi told Saudi newspaper Okaz.

Soon after al-Otaibi’s arrest, the Saudi embassy issued a statement saying that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Al-Otaibi shares the name of a man listed in a UN-commissioned report as having been involved in Khashoggi’s killing.

He said that after he was detained, he asked authorities to allow him to contact the Saudi embassy, but he was not successful.

“However,” he said, “I managed to contact my friend, who in turn called the embassy, which responded directly, as its staff members were looking for me.”

Al-Otaibi managed to retrieve his mobile phone and eventually received a call from the embassy.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador and other embassy officials came to the holding center immediately, but security officials did not allow him to meet them, he said.

Speaking about his treatment at the hand of security forces, he said: “They did not even give me any opportunity to speak, and all their answers were in French.

“Later, an Arabic-speaking female lawyer explained to me that I was detained in connection with a murder case.”

He said that security men laughed at him and mocked him when he was detained.

“When they had shown me a photograph of a person and asked about him, I replied that I did not know anything about him. The person in the picture was not me, and that his name was different from that of mine,” he told Okaz.

Prosecutors said checks had shown that an arrest warrant issued by Turkey did not apply to the man. Earlier, a police source said he had been detained when a scan of his passport triggered an alert.

With Reuters

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Saudi national detained in Paris released: French public prosecutor

Saudi Arabia: Citizen arrested in France not tied to Khashoggi case, should be freed

Saudi Arabia ‘completely rejects’ US report’s assessment on murder of Jamal Khashoggi

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Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan appointed as UAE VP

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has appointed Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the country’s vice president and Minister of Presidential Court, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Wednesday.

Sheikh Mansour was appointed alongside current VP Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, according to WAM.

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Top US general warns of high ammo use in event of major war

America’s top military officer warned Wednesday that war between the United States and another major power would see “off the charts” munitions consumption and said there is work to be done to ensure the country is prepared.

Ukraine and Russia have fired huge amounts of artillery ammunition since Moscow invaded its neighbor in February 2022, sparking concerns about the amount the United States — which has supplied large amounts of shells to Kyiv — has on hand.

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A “big lesson learned comes out of Ukraine, which is the incredible consumption rates of conventional munitions in what really is a limited regional war,” General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee.

“If there was a war on the Korean peninsula or a great power war between United States and Russia, United States and China, those consumption rates would be off the charts,” he said.

“We’ve got a ways to go to make sure our… stockpiles are prepared for the real contingencies.”

Milley’s remarks came a day after Undersecretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo said the United States aims to greatly expand the production of artillery shells.

“We’re… investing in production capacity — $1.45 billion to expand the 155 mm artillery production from 14,000 a month to over 24,000 later this year, which includes a sixfold increase in production capacity by FY28 to over 85,000 units per month,” he said at an Association of the United States Army symposium.

The country is also seeking to increase production of Javelin launchers and missiles as well as ammunition for HIMARS precision rocket launchers — equipment that has played a key role in Ukraine’s fight against Russian troops, Camarillo said.

Read more: Russia did not intercept B-52 bombers over Baltic Sea: US Air Force

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US Senate backs repeal of decades-old Iraq war authorizations

A majority of the US Senate backed legislation on Wednesday to repeal two decades-old authorizations for past wars in Iraq, as Congress pushes to reassert its role over deciding whether to send troops into combat.

The Senate voted 66-30 in favor of legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, or AUMFs, well above the 51-vote majority needed to pass the measure that would formally end the Gulf and Iraq wars.

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To become law, the repeal of the two Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, or AUMFs, must still pass the Republican-led House of Representatives, where its prospects are less certain.

All of the votes against repeal in the Senate were from Republicans and the party's leader in the chamber Mitch McConnell issued a statement opposing it.

Biden has said he will sign the legislation, if it reaches his desk.

Twenty years after the March 2003 US invasion, the vote was a historic step away from a war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans, complicated policy in the Middle East and bitterly divided US politics.

It was also lawmakers' latest effort to reclaim Congress' authority over whether troops should be sent into combat, which backers of the repeal said had been improperly ceded to the White House as the Senate and House of Representatives passed and then failed to repeal open-ended war authorizations.

Read more: Twenty years later, US Senate may finally end authorization for war on Iraq

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