Hezbollah leader claims Hariri's resignation to be 'Saudi madness'

France believes Hariri free of movements in Saudi

Hezbollah leader claims Hariri's resignation to be 'Saudi madness'

The targeting of Riyadh could push the young prince to be even more reckless and destructive in his ongoing expedition in Yemen.

On Monday, Sabhan gave another interview in which he said acts of "aggression" by Hezbollah "were considered acts of a declaration of war against Saudi Arabia by Lebanon and by the Lebanese Party of the Devil". His surprise withdrawal from a government that also includes Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah risked plunging the already fragile country deeper into turmoil. "Hezbollah is an organization with military power stronger than the Lebanese army, and the new development is that Hezbollah has some control over the Lebanese military", he said.

However, the former US Ambassador to the apartheid "Israeli" entity, Daniel Shapiro, warned that Tel Aviv must not be maneuvered by an impatient Riyadh into a premature confrontation.

Moreover, the UN has a longtime peacekeeping operation in Lebanon, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon "UNIFIL".

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Saudi air defence forces were quoted by broadcaster Al-Arabiya as saying they intercepted the missile north-east of the capital. Several flights were shown to be delayed on the digital board displaying the arrival and departure of flights at the airport.

Rafik al-Hariri was killed by a bomb in 2005 in an attack widely blamed on Hezbollah.

Sabhan had said on Sunday that he has "confirmed information" of a plot to murder Hariri, who resigned on Saturday.

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of coordinating with U.S. President Donald Trump to arrange Hariri's resignation, with the goal "creating tension in Lebanon and the region". Aides to Hariri, whose family made their fortune in the Saudi construction industry, strongly denied he had been detained or had been forced to resign.

After six years of war in Syria, Iran and its ally President Bashar Assad are prevailing over mainly Sunni rebels, many of them backed by Saudi Arabia.

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His sudden departure from the political scene will complicate Lebanon's politics and might feed into the regional struggle for power between the two main Muslim sects.

Beirut has adopted a position of "disassociation" from the conflict, but this has come under strain with Hezbollah and its allies pushing for a normalisation of ties.

"Israel" will have to make its own decision when the time is right for that fight". Israel is not interested in escalation in the near future, and the same is true of Hezbollah. A Saudi envoy recently went to the Syrian city of Raqqa, newly retaken from IS, to discuss a Saudi role in reconstruction.

But in the view of Hebrew University scholar Yusri Hazran, it is doubtful that the Saudi gambit will succeed in really setting back Hezbollah, because it is simply too powerful in Lebanon.

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