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Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the architect of Riyadh’s attempts to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been removed from his post, state media reported on Tuesday. His departure, months after he was quoted warning of a “major shift” from the United States over its Middle East policy, may help to smooth relations with Washington as Riyadh pushes for more U.S. support for Syrian rebels.

“Prince Bandar was relieved of his post at his own request and Gen. Youssef al-Idrissi was asked to carry out the duties of the head of general intelligence,” state news agency SPA said.

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