By JANNE RAPHAELOJANANEMAN/AFP/Getty Images Saudi Arabia’s religious authorities have announced the deaths of more than 30 members of its royal family, including its king, over the past two weeks after the jihadist group was defeated in Iraq.
In a televised speech, the Saudi royal family chief of staff, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulazzaq Al Saud, said he would be “dying in a great battle” for the kingdom’s future, Reuters news agency reported.
“We are going to be victorious,” he said, in reference to the recapture of the Sunni Muslim kingdom by US-backed Iraqi forces.
Saudi Arabia’s official news agency said on Saturday the kingdom has no plans to change its policy of barring the entry of foreign aid workers.
“There is no change to Saudi Arabia policy of not allowing any foreign aid worker into the country,” the agency said.
The kingdom’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying the kingdom was “taking necessary measures to prevent further harm to Saudi citizens and foreign nationals”.
Saudi Arabia is an important US ally and is home to the US Fifth Fleet, a key ally in the fight against Islamic State militants in the Middle East.
It has also been one of the most vocal backers of the US-led coalition against Islamic state.
The US has deployed thousands of troops to Saudi to help it fight the group, including Special Operations troops.
In April, Saudi Arabia began closing mosques, bars and schools after the extremist group was declared a foreign terrorist organisation.