Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by bhramos, Nov 10, 2017.
Lebanese PM Hariri resigned, will Israel invade Syria?
Video title slightly misleading ... the real question there is Will Israel invade Lebanon ?(again).
Nobody in his own camp understands why Hariri resigned. He did not inform anyone of his resignation plans before leaving the country. Word is that he was forced to resign under intense pressure by Mohammed Bin Salmane. The Crown Prince wants escalation in Lebanon too and Lebanese are very worried.
this was for recently Lebanese Army, Syrian Army & Hezbullah jointly defeated Saudi's secret army aka ISIS in Lebanon .........
US lost in Syria. So now trying its luck in Lebanon. Both SA and US are encouraging Israel to attack Lebanon.
Meanwhile Russia will come in to Lebanon on Iran's request to provide counter weight.
To add to your confusion, SA and Russia are new best friends .
US despises Hezbollah, since it threatens Israel. I suspect another Libya in the making in Lebanon. But Russia is indebted to Hezbollah and politically recognizes it.
But both Russia and SA has common interest in boosting oil prices so they will dance in tune.
Interesting equations ahead.
So its another civil war in the making. Israel is making entire ME go kaput.
Israel instructs diplomats to support Saudis: Cable
by Jonathan Cook
16 hours ago
Netanyahu may be looking to gain from an uptick in regional uncertainty [Ariel Schalit/Reuters]
Nazareth - Israel has instructed its overseas embassies to lobby their respective host countries in support of Saudi Arabia and its apparent efforts to destabilise Lebanon, a recently leaked diplomatic cable shows.
The cable appears to be the first formal confirmation of rumours that Israel and Saudi Arabia are colluding to stoke tensions in the region.
Sent by the Israeli foreign ministry and disclosed by Israel's Channel 10 news this week, the cable demanded that diplomats stress Iran and Hezbollah's engagement in "regional subversion".
That closely echoes accusations Riyadh levelled against Tehran and the Lebanese faction in recent days.
Some analysts have noted that diplomatic moves by Israel to intervene directly in a seemingly internal Arab matter are "very rare".
Yossi Alpher, a former adviser to Ehud Barak when he was Israeli prime minister, called the cable "extremely presumptuous".
"Do the Saudis really need Israel to put in a good word for them in capitals around the world?" he told Al Jazeera.
But others believe Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who also heads the foreign ministry that issued the cable, may be looking to gain from an uptick in uncertainty in the region.
War of words
The cable comes as Saudi Arabia has dramatically escalated its rhetoric against Iran and Hezbollah.
On Thursday, the Saudi foreign ministry told its nationals to leave Lebanon immediatelyafter it accused Hezbollah earlier in the week of "declaring war" on the Kingdom.
That followed the resignation of Saad Haririas Lebanon's prime minister.
A politician with close personal and business ties to Saudi Arabia, Haririannounced his departure while in Riyadh.
Nasrallah says Saad Hariri resignation 'illegal'
He accused Iran of building "a state within a state" in Lebanon through Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia group which is represented in the parliament and has a strong military wing.
There are widespread suspicions that Riyadh ordered Hariri to step down as a way to destabilise Lebanon, whose complex and fragile political set-up has struggled to contain sharp sectarian divisions.
Saudi Arabia has also implicated Hezbollah in the launching of what it says was an Iranian-made rocket from Yemen that was intercepted over Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia has been waging a war inYemen against the Houthis, a Shia minority, and has accused Iran of fomenting and supporting the Houthis.
The leaked cable instructed Israeli diplomats "to stress that the Hariri resignation shows how dangerous Iran and Hezbollah are for Lebanon's security".
The diplomats were told to appeal to the "highest officials" in their host countries to press for Hezbollah's expulsion from the Lebanese government.
"Hariri's resignation proves wrong the argument that Hezbollah participation in the government stabilises Lebanon," the cable says.
It further called on Israeli diplomats to back Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen, emphasising that the missile directed at Riyadh required "more pressure on Iran and Hezbollah".
Menachem Klein, a politics professor at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv, said it was likely that Netanyahu expected and wanted the cable to go public.
"If you send a diplomatic cable and start lobbying every foreign capital, you have to expect that it won't remain private for long," he told Al Jazeera.
"Netanyahu's aim was to make clear to the Saudis that he can help. The message is, 'We have special relations with Western countries and we can help you advance your political goals against Iran and Hezbollah, which we share.'"
But some say Israel risks being jostled by Saudi Arabia into an unnecessary and dangerous confrontation with Hezbollah, as the result of what Israeli commentator Amos Harel this week described as Riyadh's "ambitious attempt to reach a new regional order".
In a column in Israeli daily Haaretz this week, Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, argued that the Saudis were trying to move the battlefield fromSyria to Lebanon after their failure to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A six-year civil war there has dragged in a range of proxies.
Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have meddled in different ways in Syria during the war, with the barely concealed intention of weakening the Assad government and assisting rebel forces dominated by theIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and al-Qaeda affiliates.
However, with Russian help, Assad has shored up his rule across much of the country in recent months, and the last major strongholds of the rebel groups have collapsed.
Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia can afford to get more directly involved in Syria, given Russia's involvement.
Shapiro warned Israel to be wary of Riyadh's efforts to push it prematurely into a confrontation with Hezbollah, which could rapidly escalate into a regional war.
A diplomatic source with long experience in the Middle East said the cable might ultimately prove to be just such a misstep.
"The Israelis will certainly be listened to because they have the best military intelligence in the region," said the source, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.
"Europe, in particular, is very concerned about the growing numbers of refugees coming their way from the region, many of them through Lebanon. Any information Israel provides about changes to the delicate balance of power in Lebanon, or the likelihood of a war, will ring alarm bells."
The source said Israel would be hoping to capitalise on these concerns by persuading European countries to toughen their stance towards Iran, especially in relation to the Iranian nuclear accord.
Signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries, the deal led to the loosening of Western diplomatic sanctions on the Iranian regime two years ago.
"Both Israel and the Saudis want to see the nuclear deal collapse, but Israel is better placed than Riyadh to demonise Iran," said the source.
Analysts have suggested that renewed sectarian conflict in Lebanon - a possible outcome of Hariri's resignation - could also leave it more vulnerable to Israeli aggression.
In September, in a sign that Israel may be preparing for a confrontation on its northern border, the Israeli army held its biggest military drill in 20 years, simulating an invasion of Lebanon.
Hezbollah, however, is widely assumed to be armed with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. So far, that has acted as a deterrent to a repeat of Israel's bombardment and invasion of Lebanon in 2006.
Beirut on edge as political deadlock fuels uncertainty
Still, Israel and Saudi Arabia appear interested in cementing their alliance and shifting attention towards Lebanon - and away from Syria.
Israel has launched more than 100 air strikes on Syrian government and military targets in recent years, according to Reuters news agency estimates, largely on the grounds that it was preventing the transfer of weapons technology from Iran to Hezbollah.
A field hospital established by the Israeli army in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights has treated wounded Islamist fighters and returned them to Syria, the UN has documented.
The UN has also observed the Israeli army passing "boxes" to Islamist fighters that were widely assumed to contain weapons, Haaretz first reported in 2014.
Noam Sheizaf, an Israeli journalist, noted that Israel has become increasingly open about its attacks in Syria, however, taking responsibility for them to a degree not seen before.
"The risk of escalation lies in the fact that everyone wants someone else to fight Iran for them. Israel wants the US to do it, while the Saudis want Israel to attack Iran or proxies like Hezbollah," he said.
Sheizaf told Al Jazeera the cable appears to be "part of Israeli efforts at coalition-building with Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf states".
"Israel understands that the Saudis lost to Iran in Syria and Yemen, and now they need an ally with the military and diplomatic power that Israel can provide," he said.
Netanyahu indicated as much in recent comments when he said Israel was working "very hard" to establish an alliance with "modern Sunni states" to counter Iran.
Jeff Halper, an Israeli analyst, suggested that Israel had even grander ambitions.
"As strange as this sounds, the cable shows how Israel is becoming the unlikely leader of the Sunni world," he told Al Jazeera.
"Saudi Arabia has found it can't even defeat the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It needs the things Israel can offer - Israel's military might, its legitimacy in Europe and the US, its influence in the US Congress. Israel has the kind of clout internationally the Saudis want but simply don't have."
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS.
Lebanese prime minister whose resignation shook the region says he will return ‘very soon’
By Louisa Loveluck, Suzan Haidamous
November 12, 2017 at 4:49 PM
A TV at a coffee shop in Beirut shows the interview with Saad Hariri. (Jamal Saidi/Reuters)
BEIRUT — Lebanon's recently resigned prime minister insisted Sunday on television from Saudi Arabia that he is "free" to move as he pleases, and, in his first interview since he unexpectedly stepped down while in the Saudi capital, he rejected suggestions by his political allies that he was coerced into leaving his post.
In a live television interview from Riyadh, a tired and sometimes emotional Saad Hariri said that he hoped his resignation would cause a "positive shock" between Saudi Arabia, his regional patron, and its rival, Iran, which backs the Hezbollah movement. Hezbollah plays a dominant role in Lebanese politics.
"We are in the eye of the storm," he said.
Lebanon has repeatedly become a stage for the regional ambitions of its more powerful neighbors. Hariri's Nov. 4 resignation came amid heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and coincided with an aggressive purge of rivals by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman under the cover of an anti-corruption drive.
The interview aired on Future TV, Hariri's own station. But in a sign of just how fractious the political moment is for Lebanon, the country's president, Michel Aoun, said on Twitter shortly before the broadcast that Hariri's comments may be "in doubt" and "without his will."
During the hour-long interview, Hariri said his resignation was in the best interests of Lebanon, and he appealed to Iran to stop "interfering" in countries throughout the Middle East.
His departure has caused wild speculation in Lebanon, with politicians across the political spectrum claiming that his hand was forced by Saudi Arabia. The resignation came after a surprise summons to Riyadh, and aides said they had barely spoken to him since, beyond exchanges of pleasantries.
Hariri denied those rumors Sunday. "I am free within the kingdom; if I want to travel, I can travel tomorrow," he said, in a reference to Saudi Arabia. He said that security arrangements were under review and that his return to Beirut would come "soon."
Speaking with a Lebanese flag in the background, he again blamed Iran and Hezbollah for destabilizing his country and defended Riyadh's war of words against its arch foe.
At times, his eyes appeared to dart away from the interviewer, Paula Yacoubian, to a man behind a window of the studio.
Hariri also suggested that he would withdraw his resignation if Hezbollah committed to remaining neutral in regional conflicts.
"There is a Lebanese group that is carrying out certain actions," he said. "I will not allow for anyone to launch regional wars on Lebanon for regional gains."
Hezbollah has become a dominant force in Lebanon's unity government, which was headed by Hariri, and it has sent thousands of fighters to Syria, Lebanon's neighbor, to support the forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. It is also believed to have offered training to Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, which is locked in a destructive war with Saudi Arabia and its allies.
In a Beirut shisha cafe Sunday night, patrons were divided between concern and resignation. "It's one big political show, isn't it," said Mustafa Khalil, a 34-year-old engineer. "He's not his own man anymore. He is saying what he needs to survive."
There is still one obstacle RUSSIA and syria are still celebrating their victory over ISIS.
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