World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it had expelled three people working at Syria's consulate in Jeddah, a new sign of ill feeling between the countries as Riyadh backs rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's government in Damascus.
"The steps were taken based on the public interest as their conduct ... was incompatible with the consular duties associated with their work," said a Foreign Ministry statement carried by state media, without giving further details.
The conservative kingdom, which this week is hosting Islam's annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, closed its embassy in Damascus in March, a month after expelling Syria's ambassador to Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia has only granted haj visas to Syrians applying at consulates in neighbouring countries, instead of working with the government in Damascus to allocate visas to pilgrims.
Riyadh has led Arab efforts to isolate Assad's government, condemning its violent suppression of the uprising in August last year before orchestrating Arab League moves to impose sanctions.
It has supported the rebels with money and logistics and called for them to be armed.
Syria and its ally Shi'ite Muslim Iran have accused Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states in the region of fuelling the bloodshed by their backing of the rebels.
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Five people are killed when Russian warplanes strike targets in opposition-held area of Syria's northwestern Idlib province
At least 180,879 civilians have been killed by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria since March 2011, Syrian Network for Human Rights says
Saudi Arabia has long been deeply suspicious of Hezbollah, a close ally of its regional rival Iran
Thousands of Turkmen reportedly displaced by ongoing assaults by regime and Russian warplanes in Syria's predominantly-Turkmen Bayirbucak region
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'Next week, I expect to provide my final assessment on all past and present outstanding issues,' International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano says
Syrian Network for Human Rights says 20,000 women have been killed in the Syrian conflict, wıth almost 95 percent of them by Assad regime
Regime offensive comes one day after Turkmen fighters retook control of Kizildag town
Russian planes have carried out at least 12 strikes in the area where Turkey downed their fighter jet
The second pilot who ejected from the fighter jet shot by Turkish forces has been picked up by the Syrian army
Sources report that first pilot was killed by opposition forces who shot at him as he landed after ejecting from the plane
Turkish reports say incident happened in border area between Turkey's southern Hatay province and an area in northwest Syria populated by the Turkic-speaking Turkmen minority
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Turkey has condemned the ruthless attacks by Russia and have sent a letter to the UN expressing grave concern about attacks in Bayirbucak Turkmen area in northwestern Syria
Iran calls for international investment as it seeks a greater share of the world's gas market