Saudi Arabia and Lebanon- Powderkegs Ready to Blow?

 In Foreign, opinion

The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri resigned on November 4,  saying he was in “fear of his life” and immediately fled to Saudi Arabia.  His resignation left Hezbollah with even more power- a once Christian nation has nearly completely fallen into the clutches of an Iranian-backed terrorist organization. But that’s only one part of a powderkeg that could blow at any moment in the region.

Lebanon

Al-Hariri slammed Iran and Hezbollah for “sowing strife” – but many Lebanese reportedly feel that his resignation was a power play by Saudi Arabia. Al-Hariri  is a Saudi citizen and has connections to the country through his family’s construction business. How does that work that the head of a government can be a citizen of another country? It’s not working very well, apparently.

A rumor started by Hezbollah said that al-Hariri was under house arrest in Saudi Arabia- but that turned out to be fake news, as he reportedly left the Saudi  kingdom and visited the UAE.

Saudi troubles

Two days ago, Saudi officials stated that Lebanon had declared war on the kingdom because of increased tensions with Hezbollah. They also intercepted a Houthi missile from Yemen, which is another front in the strife of the region.

On top of that mess you have the Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and his tightening of control over the Saudi government and business officials. With billions of dollars involved in that move, the motive for the arrests may be clear.

In addition to the Princes and officials being held in house arrest in Riyadh, one of their other princes, Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, and several other high level officials were killed in a helicopter crash ear the Yemeni border on November 5. Prince bin Muqrin was the son of a former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who held the office briefly in 2015.

 

Then there was the death of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd  who was killed in a firefight as authorities tried to arrest him on November 6.

With this shuffling of leaders in the Middle East, war could break out at any time. Israel is sandwiched in the middle of this, fighting to intercept a plethora of missiles from Iran to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. They recently conducted the largest military exercise in 20 year in preparation for possible war (Blue Flag 2017). But as usual, the UN and other Arab nations continually bash them for trying to defend themselves.

Featured photo: al-Hariri via Encyclopedia Britannica

 

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