Lebanon, Saudi Arabia cooperate in case against Hezbollah officials

Riyadh accused the two of recruiting fighters for Syrian President Bashar Assad and causing "chaos and instability in the Middle East."

May 28, 2015 13:22
1 minute read.
A Shi'ite cleric wearing military uniform with Hezbollah members.

A Shi'ite cleric wearing military uniform with Hezbollah members.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Lebanon may pursue legal action against two Hezbollah affiliated men blacklisted in Saudi Arabia.

According to Lebanon's Daily Star, on Thursday the Lebanese Interior Minister, Nouhad Machnouk, said that his government "will ask Saudi authorities to provide it with the files of the two Hezbollah officials – Khalil Harb and Mohammad Qabalan – in order to take the local necessary measures.”

Beirut and Riyadh are engaged in "full cooperation", he added, after the state-run Saudi Press Agency [SPA] released statements accusing the two men of attempting to recruit fighters on behalf of the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and causing "chaos and instability in the Middle East."

The SPA specified that Harb was Hezbollah's commander in charge of operations in the Middle East, adding that he is also charged with orchestrating the Iranian backed militia group's operations in Yemen, Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor, where it is currently battling the Houthis, another Iranian proxy.

The SPA further identified Qabalan as having been the subject of a 2010 conviction in an Egyptian court, where he was tried in absentia for leading a terrorist cell's targeting of tourist destinations.

Riyadh followed up their allegations by freezing the two men's monetary assets and imposing financial sanctions on them.

The apparent cooperation between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia roused condemnation from at least one Hezbollah MK in Lebanon's government, who rebuked Riyadh's accusations, saying "the source of terrorism has no right to accuse others of terrorism."

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