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Saudis set for conflict with Hezbollah

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BEIRUT, Lebanon – At the direction of Saudi Arabia, the Sunni-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council intends to “take measures” against the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon for its backing of the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to  Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The decision by the GCC sets it up for a confrontation between Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The GCC has “decided to look into taking measures against Hezbollah’s interests in the member states,” council head Abdullatif al-Zayani said in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

A number of GCC countries have a rising Shiite minority. Bahrain, whose population is predominantly Shia, has seen demonstrations by the Shia against the ruling monarchy, which is Sunni.

In fact, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifah, king of Bahrain, ordered many Shia who had lived in Bahrain for generations banished out of concern for links to Hezbollah. Their properties were confiscated and a number were jailed without charges.

Bahrain Foreign Minister Ghanem al-Buainain said that the GCC regarded Hezbollah’s backing of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war as “sectarian intervention,” referring to the Lebanese resistance group as a “terrorist organization.”

Ironically, GCC members Saudi Arabia and Qatar are actively financing and supplying arms to al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra Islamist militants in the civil war. There are an estimated 50,000 such fighters inside Syria who now are targeting Lebanon.

Al-Nusra is composed of Sunni Wahhabists. It has been systematically targeting Syrian infrastructure and indiscriminately killing Syrian civilians.

The GCC members look upon the Syrian civil war as a proxy effort against Shiite Iran, using Hezbollah as an example since the resistance group has decided to back the Assad regime and dispatch fighters to Syria to confront al-Nusra.

Even Syrian opposition fighters are increasingly concerned about al-Nusra, which regards them as “infidels.” A number of these fighters have turned in their guns to the Syrian government while remaining with the opposition.

They expressed concern for their lives because of al-Nusra regarding them as “infidels” and not radical enough in support of a society that wants to live under Islamic law.

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