Powerful Arab Nations Threaten Sanctions over Hezbollah Actions in Syria

Regional fight? The Syrian civil war is expanding in all directions.

Regional fight? The Syrian civil war is expanding in all directions.

Like opposing sides in a gang fight, the many groups and nations involved in the Syrian civil war are lining up against each other in what is rapidly looking more and more like a Middle East war. A group of six Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, threatened sanctions on members of the Hezbollah terrorist group over its involvement in Syria.

The Gulf Cooperation Council released a statement on Monday saying the group “strongly condemns the blatant interference of Lebanese Hezbollah in the Syrian crisis and its consequent killing of innocent civilians,” according to a report by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).  Further more, the GCC is considering “action” on Hezbollah members in the six GCC countries, including financial sanctions.

The GCC, which includes members who reportedly support the rebels in Syria, explained their threat of sanctions in saying that the “illegal interventions of Hezbollah and the heinous practices of its militias in Syria would harm its interests in the GCC’s member countries.”

Why does this matter to you? Because a real Middle East war is brewing. The GCC taking steps against Hezbollah highlights how broad the conflict in Syria has become. Syria isn’t even involved in this one—a group of outside nations are taking actions against an outside terror group. Clearly the Syrian civil war is now a Middle East regional proxy war, in which many nations fight each other in Syria using allies and puppet groups.

Remember the sides: The Saudis, Turkey and others are supporting the rebels, while Iran and Hezbollah support the Syrian regime. Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been enemies, and now they’re indirectly fighting in Syria. The Daily Star newspaper noted that Syria has accused Saudi Arabia of sending weapons to the Syrian rebels, while Iran is using Hezbollah.

The foundation has been laid for a broad Middle East war and numerous nations in the region are already involved somehow. That could ultimately lead to a rise in oil prices or give terrorists plenty of chaotic cover to acquire advanced weapons or increase their power in the region.

The GCC steps also underscore the divisions in the Middle East right now. Hezbollah is an Islamic organization, but that matters little now to the GCC Arab nations. Any mutual conflict with Israel, for example, has been effectively forgotten, in one of the few positives of this situation.

The GCC statement on Monday said the group “considers that Hezbollah’s participation in shedding the blood of the brotherly Syrian people revealed the nature of this party and its real objectives.”

The Saudi Press Agency report said the GCC also urged the Lebanese government to “assume its responsibilities” towards Hezbollah in light of its “illegal and inhuman practices both in Syria and the region.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 11, 2013)


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