King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at the age of 90, bringing to an end the rule of the world’s oldest monarch.
King Abdullah, who has ruled Saudi Arabia since August 2005, has died after battle with pneumonia. Abdullah’s half-brother Crown Prince Salman has ascended to the throne.
Abdullah was selected as crown prince in 1982 on the day his half-brother Fahd ascended to the throne. The decision was challenged by a full brother of Fahd, Prince Sultan, who wanted the title for himself. But the family eventually closed ranks behind Abdullah to prevent splits.
Abdullah became de facto ruler in 1995 when a stroke incapacitated Fahd. Abdullah was believed to have long rankled at the closeness of the alliance with the United States, and as regent he pressed Washington to withdraw the troops it had deployed in the kingdom since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The U.S. finally did so in 2003.