Angry over Hezbollah's role in Syria, Saudi to deport supporters of the group, says diplomat
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 20, 2013 - 5:40 am EDT
BEIRUT — The Saudi envoy to Lebanon says the kingdom will deport Lebanese citizens who support the militant Hezbollah group because of its role in the Syrian civil war.
Ambassador Ali Awad Assiri told Lebanon's Future TV late on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia will deport "those who financially support this party."
This citizen journalism image provided by Lens Young Homsi, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows homes destroyed by Syrian government airstrikes and shelling, in al-Qossur neighborhood in Homs province, Syria, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters clashed Wednesday with rebel forces south of a Damascus suburb that is home to a major Shiite Muslim shrine, in an attempt to secure the area surrounding the revered site, activists said. (AP Photo/Lens Young Homsi)
He didn't say when such deportations would begin.
Saudi Arabia is a strong backer of the mostly-Sunni Syrian opposition trying to remove Syria's President Bashar Assad from power.
Assad belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Shiite Hezbollah fighters were instrumental in a recent regime victory when government forces regained control of the strategic town of Qusair near the Lebanese border.
There are tens of thousands of Lebanese — including Shiites — working in the kingdom.
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