Jamal Khashoggi Had Been Planning Report On Saudi Arabia’s Use Of Chemical Weapons In Yemen, ‘Express’ Reports

A poster of Jamal Khashoggi after his disappearance in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul
Chris McGrath / Getty Images

New information from a close friend of murdered Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi indicates that he may have had proof that the Saudi government was making use of chemical warfare in their proxy war in Yemen.

According to the Express UK, the Middle Eastern academic, who asked not to be named, had spoken with Khashoggi a week before his murder, and stated that the journalist had seemed “unhappy and worried.” After a bit of prying, he had revealed that he was about to receive “documentary evidence” that the Saudis are using chemical weapons on both military persons and civilians in Yemen.

“When I asked him why he was worried, he didn’t really want to reply, but eventually he told me he was getting proof that Saudi Arabia had used chemical weapons. He said he hoped to be getting documentary evidence. All I can tell you is that the next thing I heard, he was missing.”

This is not the first time the issue of chemical warfare by the Saudis in Yemen has been brought up. Iran previously claimed that Saudi Arabia was supplying the ingredients needed to make the nerve agent Sarin gas, but those claims have been unsubstantiated. It is speculated that the likelihood is that Khashoggi had received intelligence that Saudi Arabia has been using phosphorus.

Just last month, there were whispers that the Saudis were using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus munitions on both soldiers and civilians in Yemen.

There are regulations that allow for the chemical to be used as a “smokescreen,” but other uses of it could burn flesh all the way down to the bone.

Chemical warfare expert Col Hamish de Bretton-Gordon spoke of the devastation that the practice unleashes.

“We have already seen in Syria that nothing is as effective as chemical weapons in clearing urban areas of troops and civilians – Assad has used phosphorous for this very reason. If Khashoggi did, in fact, have proof that Saudi Arabia was deliberately misusing phosphorous for this purpose, it would be highly embarrassing for the regime and provides the nearest motive yet as to why Riyadh may have acted when they did against him.”

Khashoggi, who had made an appointment at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in order to get documents he needed in order to marry his fiancee, never came out of the consulate, leading to weeks of speculation about his sudden disappearance on October 2 before the Saudis last week confessed he had been murdered in a premeditated attack.