US Defense Chief: Killing of Writer Is Threat to Stability

October 27, 2018 Updated: October 27, 2018

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “undermines regional stability” and the U.S. State Department planned to take further action in response to the killing, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Oct. 27.

Speaking at an international conference in Bahrain, Mattis never mentioned Saudi Arabia directly in connection with the Oct. 2 slaying of Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

But he noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revoked visas of Saudis implicated in the killing of the Washington Post writer, and he said additional measures would be taken.

Mattis made no move to directly blame Saudi Arabia and did not refer to the calls from members of Congress to cut arms sales to Saudi Arabia or impose sanctions on the kingdom.

But his broader mention of the matter toward the end of his speech underscored the serious national security ramifications the incident poses for relations with a key U.S. ally.