Targeting Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia Suspends Lebanon Military Aid | Middle East Policy Council
Targeting Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia Suspends Lebanon Military Aid 'Saudi- Lebanese relations had been notably at their best during Bachir Gemayel's election. Iran is located in South West Asia. It is bound by Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, Iraq. The love-hate relationship that Lebanon and Saudi Arabia enjoyed took a turn for the worse when Riyadh cancelled a $3bn military grant to.
Those close to Hariri said things were off from the moment he landed in Saudi Arabia, including no official delegation greeting him when he arrived. In his speech, Hariri said Hezbollah and Iran continue to sow strife in the region and that he feared an assassination attempt was in the works. His father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in February ofthe victim of a massive truck bomb in Beirut.
Back in Lebanon, rumors circulated that Hariri was kidnapped and held against his will by Saudi Arabia.
How did they get here? The ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the centerpoint of the current crisis, according to some experts.
Despite the killing, Hariri has maintained his support for the Saudi government, which after initially denying that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, has since detained 18 Saudis accused of being involved in the murder and recommended the death penalty for five of them. Upon leaving Saudi Arabia following French intervention, Hariri rescinded his resignation.
Lebanon-Saudi Arabia relations | The Times of Israel
When asked on Thursday about what happened to him, Hariri remained vague: There had to be a wake-up call to the Lebanese because we were shooting ourselves in the foot. We need to disassociate ourselves, we need to move away from the regional conflicts The big countries can afford it - we [Lebanon] cannot. The International Monetary Fund IMF has also reportedly estimated that debt repayment could constitute as much as 60 percent of the Lebanese state budget by Since earlySaudi-backed media outlets in Lebanon have known that their sponsors were deeply unhappy as they stopped their cheques.
One might even blame Lebanon's flagship titles for not pandering to their sponsors' needs as even March 14 media failed to act, when it was needed.
Lebanon and Saudi Arabia's love and hate relationship
The elite in Lebanon have behaved like compulsive gamblers at the blackjack table, doubling their bet every time they win - only to finally to lose everything - and then to walk away from the game. But the recent move might not play into Saudi hands.
If Lebanon has to rely on its army to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL on its borders without the military kit it needs, this will put enormous pressure on the present caretaker government. If extremists take any more hostages, for example, this will merely bolster Hezbollah's argument that it needs to take control of the security operations against ISIL - opening up an old wound that the Shia group is behaving like a state within a state.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Tammam Salam would probably resign if any hostage situation emerged due to the army being outfoxed - which could trigger chaos. Yet, could this be what the Saudis want.
What you need to know about Saudi Arabia’s tensions with Lebanon
Could such disarray strengthen the March 14 block, which has in recent months been indulging in in-fighting? For Hezbollah, wouldn't such a scenario overstretch its resources with such security work? And wouldn't such a move give a new impetus to Hariri as the only one who can normalise the situation.