On Thursday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered all Saudi citizens to leave Lebanon immediately according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also advised all citizens not to travel to Lebanon from any other international destinations.
“Due to the circumstances in the Lebanese Republic, the kingdom asks its citizens who are visiting or residing,” SPA said in its press release.
Meanwhile, Thamer al-Sabhan, the Saudi minister for Gulf affairs said on Twitter that the Saudi decision will be followed by other radical decision until “things [in Lebanon] return to its natural situation”.
كل الاجراآت المتخذة تباعا وفي تصاعد مستمر ومتشددحتى تعود الامور لنصابها الطبيعي
— ثامر السبهان (@thamersas) November 9, 2017
The Saudi decision comes hours only after a top Lebanese government officials told Reuters agency that Lebanon believes that Saudi Arabia is holding its top politician (former prime minister) Saad Hariri as a captive.
Several Lebanese sources viewed that the Saudi decision as a sign that a Saudi-backed military operation against Hezbollah in Lebanon is near. However, geopolitical facts suggest that such military operation is almost impossible, and could easily turn into a suicide mission. Especially that Saudi Arabia has been struggling in its war against the besieged Houthis in Yemen right on its borders for almost three years now.
A more realistic option for Saudi Arabia is provide assistance to some other power, which has more competent military forces. For example, Israel…