Saudis to expel Hezbollah supporters over Syrian war
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013, 9:54 p.m.
In the latest sign of the fissures growing in the Arab world over the Syrian civil war, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Beirut has announced that the kingdom plans to deport Lebanese who supported Hezbollah, one of Damascus' key allies.
The Lebanese Shiite militant group has taken an increasingly prominent role in the Syrian war, fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's troops in an important battle this month. Saudi Arabia is a strong backer of the mostly-Sunni Syrian opposition trying to remove Assad from power. Assad belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
This month the Gulf Cooperation Council — which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates — decided to crack down on Hezbollah members in gulf states and put limits on their “financial and business transactions.”
Hezbollah said it has no businesses in the gulf nations. However, there are more than half a million Lebanese working in those countries, including tens of thousands in Saudi Arabia, some of whom have been living in the kingdom for decades. Many of those Lebanese are Shiites.
Saudi Arabia will deport “those who financially support this party,” Ambassador Ali Awad Assiri said on Lebanonese TV late Wednesday. He did not elaborate on whether other actions could be considered support for Hezbollah.
“This is a serious decision and will be implemented in detail,” Assiri said, without specifying when the deportations would begin. “Acts are being committed against innocent Syrian people.”
Lebanon's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour told reporters he was in contact with Gulf officials over the matter. Hezbollah and its allies dominate Lebanon's government, which resigned March 22 but continues to run the country's affairs in a caretaker capacity.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
- Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
- Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling
- Russia’s push into Ukraine leads NATO to increase its Baltics presence
- Third mate unfamiliar with waters where South Korean ferry sank
- Pontiff seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of Earth’
- Putin’s national address to Russians raises fears of possible incursion into southeastern Ukraine
- Russian military spending increases
- U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al-Qaida militants