A couple of years ago The Saudis with US assistance started their bombing campaign of Yemen that has resulted in many thousands of civilian deaths and the worse Cholera epidemic in a century……with no end in sight.
And now the Saudis are beating the war drums with Lebanon…..why?
Over the past 24 hours, the drumbeat of war in the Middle East has risen to a fever-pitch. Saudi Arabia has provoked both an internal domestic, and a foreign crisis to permit Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to realise his grandiose vision of the Saudi state.
Internally, Salman suddenly created an anti-corruption commission and within four hours it had ordered the arrest of some of the highest level royal princes in the kingdom, including at least four sitting ministers and the son of a former king.
Is this just chests thumping? Looks to be a serious threat to the region……Saudi has told its people to get out of Lebanon…..
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on Thursday urged its citizens to leave Lebanon “as soon as possible”, days after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while visiting the kingdom.
The announcement was followed on Thursday by a Bahraini order that its citizens leave Lebanon.
“Due to the situation in the Republic of Lebanon, the kingdom asks its nationals visiting or living in Lebanon to leave as soon as possible, and advises its citizens not to travel there,” said a Saudi foreign ministry source, quoted by state news agency SPA.
This all began when the PM of Lebanon on a visit of the Kingdom submitted his resignation and has not returned home…..
Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia, from where he resigned as Lebanese prime minister, two top government officials in Beirut said, amid a deepening crisis pushing Lebanon onto the frontlines of a power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The question now is the PM being held prisoner in SA?
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who attempted to resign last weekend, reportedly met with a French diplomat at an undisclosed location within Saudi Arabia, where both he and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince claimed he is “not a prisoner.” But is he?
France is clearly far from convinced, as the most recent statements out of the French Foreign Ministry said they “wish Hariri had all his freedom of movement,” and added that he should be able to “make his own choices” regarding his future in Lebanon.
The claim of Hariri facing an “assassination plot,” his excuse for resigning, itself appears to have originated in Saudi media. Lebanese officials have refused to accept the resignation until he returns to Lebanon, and have demanded Saudi Arabia allow him to do so.
Is Saudi Arabia setting up Lebanon for yet another of its wars of attrition? How deep will the US be in its support for this action? How will the rest of the world react to Saudi’s aggression?
This all began when a missile was fired by the Houthis (Shia) into Saudi Arabia……
Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired by north Yemeni forces at their capital city. The missile was identified as a Burqan 2H, a Yemeni design, and Yemen’s Defense Ministry confirmed firing it.
Rather than just the latest retaliation in Saudi Arabia’s two and a half year war in Yemen, however, Saudi officials seem to be looking to turn the incident into the start of a region-wide war, saying it amounted to a declaration of war against them by both Lebanon and Iran.
This claim centers on Saudi claims, which appear to have started Monday but weren’t mentioned over the weekend when the interception happened, that the missile was an “Iranian” missile, fired at the Saudi capital by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, which is part of the Lebanese government.
This narrative aligns neatly with Saudi foreign policy goals, as they’ve long tried to present Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement as an Iranian proxy, and have been keen to pick fights with Hezbollah over the group’s support for the Syrian government.
Factually, however, the claim has major problems. Saudi and Yemeni officials were both identifying the missile as a Burqan 2H immediately after the interception. This is a known Yemeni model, meaning it’s not an Iranian missile smuggled into Yemen. There has likewise never been evidence of Hezbollah have any presence in Yemen, and no conceivable reason why Yemen would need a Lebanese militia to fire a Yemeni-made missile from inside Yemeni territory.
Analysts say the Saudi Crown Prince is keen to confront Iran militarily, and that this may provide a pretext to do so. Exactly what his plans with Lebanon are remain unclear, but the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, was visiting Saudi Arabia at the time, and has subsequently resigned amid claims of an “assassination plot,” and blamed Iran and Hezbollah as well.
Looking for a fight and willing to do Israel’s fighting for them?
Could Saudi’s warmonger backfire?
Reuters reports that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is not being allowed to leave Saudi Arabia following his “resignation” in Riyadh:
Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri, who resigned as prime minister on Saturday while in Saudi Arabia, is being held by Riyadh, and Beirut plans to work with foreign states to secure his return, a top Lebanese government official said on Thursday.
A second source, a senior politician close to Saudi-allied Hariri, said Saudi Arabia had ordered him to resign and put him under house arrest. A third source familiar with the situation said Saudi Arabia was controlling and limiting his movement.
(More on this situation to come)