Print Edition - 2017-11-14 | Oped
- Efforts must be made to avoid a new conflagration
Nov 14, 2017-A new crisis appears to be brewing in the Middle East, threatening the fragile stability of Lebanon. It started with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s shock resignation announced from the Saudi capital Riyadh. This was one of the many startling events that would take place in Riyadh that night; a missile reportedly fired by Yemen’s Houthi militia was shot down over the Saudi capital’s airport, while top royals and tycoons were rounded up on the orders of the crown prince as part of an ‘anti-corruption’ purge. But the most immediate issue the world should be worried about is Lebanon; the small country may be headed for war. Recently, the Saudi foreign minister said that if Hezbollah remains part of the Lebanese government, Riyadh would consider this “an act of war”. Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah said that the Saudis have declared war on Lebanon by “detaining” Mr Hariri. In such a situation, the possibility of a fresh armed conflict breaking out in Lebanon is not remote. Lebanon witnessed a civil war from 1975 to 1990. The hostilities involving different religions, sects and nations ended after a peace deal was hammered out. Despite the delicate balance, Lebanon has been relatively stable since 1990. However, with the Saudi-Iran confrontation reaching alarming proportions, Lebanon may once again become a proxy battlefield.
Published: 14-11-2017 07:37