Kuwait is the first Gulf emirate ready to act on the resolution of the recent Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Jeddah to punish Hizballah for its “flagrant intervention in Syria” against “freedom fighters.” The Interior Ministry in Kuwait is about to “end the residency of some 2,000 Lebanese Shiite citizens” and shut down their financial and commercial businesses.
The six-member bloc denounced Iran’s Lebanese proxy as a terrorist group for its “flagrant military intervention in Syria and its participation in shedding the blood of Syrian people.” The Saudi Cabinet earlier condemned Hezbollah’s “blatant intervention” in the Syrian crisis.
These Kuwait and Saudi moves are expected to soon touch off mass expulsions from the six Gulf nations of tens of thousands of Lebanese Shiites employed or operating businesses there. This forced repatriation of masses of unemployed Shiites will not only be a destabilizing factor in Lebanon but is bound to raise military temperatures between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Gulf.
Tehran and Hizballah may resort to retaliatory steps, including the activation of sleeper terrorist cells against the Sunni governments.
Tehran will certainly not be happy about the GCC taking the opportunity of getting rid of Iranian and Hizballah spy networks operating in those countries, and even less about the liquidations of businesses which helped bankroll the activities of Hizballah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards covert operations.
Kuwait will also “deny visas” to members of Lebanese groups associated with Hizballah, which run their own militias, such as Nabih Berri (Shiite Amal) and Walid Jumblatt (Druzes).
The GCC is therefore striking hard at supporters of Iran, Hizballah and the Assad regime across a wide spectrum.
Tuesday, June 11, debkafile reported exclusively that Hizballah and Iran had suspended their military and financial ties with the Palestinian Sunni Hamas after discovering its members fighting with Syrian rebels in the al Quseyr battle.
A day later, the Sunni Gulf is seen to be meting out punishment to the Shiite powers. The estrangement between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the Arab world is deepening sharply in consequence of the Syrian conflict.
Read the earlier debkafile report below.
Hizballah forces helping Syrian troops capture the key Syrian town of al Qusayr from rebel hands last week caught five armed members of the radical Palestinian Hamas fighting with the rebels, debkafile’s intelligence sources disclose. Within hours of this discovery being reported to Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah, the order to shut down Hamas offices in the Shiite Dahya neighborhood in Beirut went down the Hizballah chain of command.
Wafiq Safa, head of the organizations intelligence and terror wing, who commands the organization’s war effort in Syria, summoned Ali Baraka, the Hamas envoy in Beirut. He was told to shut down shop forthwith and remove himself and staff from the Lebanese capital. Hamas cells in southern Lebanon were likewise expelled. Ali Baraka hurriedly moved his people over to the southern port of Sidon, which is outside Hizballah’s turf. Nasrallah also suspended all military and technical assistance to the Hamas military arm, Ezz a-din al-Qassam – both in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip – after years of close cooperation between the two radical terrorist organizations.
Before breaking off ties with the Palestinian group, the Hizballah high command conferred with the Iranian al Qods Brigades chief, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Tehran has not commented on the break-up with its Palestinian protégé, except to hold up the latest installment of Iran’s financial aid to the Gaza Strip regime. Queries from Gaza elicited evasive answers from Tehran.
The rupture with Hizballah and Iran has left the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip in serious financial straits. Its allocation from Qatar was sharply reduced this year; the Saudis stopped all assistance last year and Hamas’s parent organization, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has since assuming power in Cairo been struggling with its own government’s empty coffers.
In panicky conferences in Istanbul, Gaza and Cairo, Hamas leaders decided their only recourse was to send peace delegations to Tehran and Beirut in the hope that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Nasrallah would relent and resume the flow of financial aid.
Hamas politburo member Emad al-Alami heads the delegation to Tehran and Salah al-Arouri, who runs Hamas operations on the West Bank from Istanbul, leads the delegation to Beirut.
Both are still cooling their heels and waiting for appointments.
The new situation has sharpened the discord within the Hamas leadership between the faction in favor of Iran and Syria, headed by strongman Mahmoud A-Zahar and the deputy commander of the Ezz a-din al-Qassam, Marwan Issa, on the one hand, and, on the other, the reinstated head of the politburo Khaled Meshaal, who sent the Hamas contingent to fight with the Syrian rebels against Bashar Assad and his Hizballah allies.