Saudi Arabia's King Salman, in a series of late-night decrees, replaced top military leaders, promoted others and assigned new younger officials in economic and security roles, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The king terminated both the commander of air defenses and the military chief of staff and assigned new leaders to the air defense and land forces. The decree said the changes were made on the recommendation of the minister of defense, who is the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
"These appointments were part of a normal rotation in line with the new Ministry of Defense development plan. While some senior officers who had reached retirement age left the service, others were promoted or moved to newly created positions," the Saudi Arabian government said in a statement to NBC News.
But some analysts saw the military changes as the result of frustration with the three-year-old war in Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthis. The crown prince was the architect of the war.