Saudi Arabia Is Now At War With Iran on Four Fronts

Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal looks on during a news briefing in Manama in this

Bahrain on Sunday urged its citizens to avoid travelling to Lebanon and advised those already in the country to leave immediately for their safety.

Speaker Nabih Berri said in a televised statement he agreed with Aoun's statement. This was reinforced by the remarks made by President Aoun, who made it clear that he did not intend to take any further steps as would be required by the Hariri announcement until he personally met him and heard directly from him.

The coalition government he led brought together almost all of the main political parties in Lebanon, including Hezbollah. But it is plausible that the Saudis are trying to create the context for a different means of contesting Iran in Lebanon: an "Israeli"-Hezbollah war". His surprise withdrawal from a government that also includes Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah risked plunging the already fragile country deeper into turmoil. No Sunni militia or political group has the same clout, and few Sunnis want to risk a destabilizing fight with Hezbollah. Such an attack would also provide a perfect opportunity for the West to test the new Saudi leadership's "moderate" credentials: Would it cheer Israel on?

Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, has been serving as prime minister since December 2016.

All three of these developments will have seismic implications, not just on Saudi Arabia, but on the region and beyond. The Shiites are the largest community in Lebanon, they make up 40% of the population.

It is hard to predict how Hariri's resignation will effect Israeli interests.




On Tuesday, Al-Akhbar, a pro-Hizballah Lebanese daily, claimed he was under house arrest in Riyadh with his family, a claim denied by Saudi Arabia.

Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon's Druze minority, said Lebanon was too weak to bear the consequences of Hariri's resignation, saying he feared political and economic fallout.

Hariri has visited Saudi Arabia twice in the past week, meeting Crown Prince Mohammed and other senior officials.

On November 5, Hizballah's chief, Hassan Nasrallah, said the resignation was not prompted by the political situation in Lebanon and accused Riyadh of forcing Hariri to resign. But the missile strike underscores the potential for the conflict to grow beyond Yemen's borders. "Saudi Arabia is more concerned than Israel about Iran", he said. Iran's direct intervention and Russia's air campaign rescued Assad and turned the tide in his favor, recapturing large stretches of territory.

Its powerful military wing is widely seen as stronger than the Lebanese army, and has played a major role in the war in neighbouring Syria. When Saudi Arabia sealed Qatar's only land border, it looked toward Iran and Turkey to fill the gap.

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