Saudi Arabia has scrambled its air force for strikes in Lebanon amid fears of a new war in the Middle East, according to reports.
The kingdom has mobilized its F-15 fighter jet fleet to launch a military operation against the Iranian-backed terrorist militia of Hezbollah in Lebanon, regional news website The Baghdad Post reports.
Saudi Arabia previously accused both Lebanon and Iran of committing an act of wars against it after rebels fired a missile at the King Khalid International Airport in the kingdom’s capital of Riyadh.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon escalating fears of war to new heights – which the US have dubbed grounds for a “proxy war”.
Hezbollah is the most powerful military and political force in Lebanon and receives major support from Iran.
Reports now state the Royal Saudi Air Force has placed its warplanes on alert to launch strikes as the region sits on a knife edge.
Hezbollah said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon after the nation was accused of holding their Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri against his will.
The PM resigned while on a visit to Riyadh last Saturday, which was dubbed as an “insult” to Lebanon.
Hariri’s resignation has plunged Lebanon into crisis, thrusting into the center of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The region sits on a knife-edge as the power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia looks set to draw their neighbors into a major war.
Thamer al-Sabhan, the Saudi minister for Gulf affairs, said the Lebanese government would now “be dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia” over “acts of aggression” by Hezbollah.
Ex-prime minister Hariri has blamed Iran for the growing conflict – claiming Hezbollah are “Iran’s arm” in Lebanon.
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson warned the region not to start a war in the Middle East – and urged Iran to back down for its support of Hezbollah.
He said: “The United States supports the stability of Lebanon and is opposed to any actions that could threaten that stability.
“The United States cautions against any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country.”
Saudi Arabia is a close ally of both the US and Britain – both of which sell it weapons, such as the now on alert F-15s.
Iran sits at loggerheads with the West, often squaring up to the US in the region with military confrontations.
Earlier this year, Iran held mass rallies against US President Donald Trump following his so-called “Muslim ban”.
Reported by: Dailystar.co.uk