Saudi Arabia declared that anyone linked to Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah will be deported from the kingdom, Al Arabiya News Channel reports.
The declaration came after the Arab League officially deemed the Lebanon-based Shiitte Hezbollah a “terrorist” group, adds the report.
“An Interior Ministry statement carried by the state news agency SPA [Saudi Press Agency] said that Saudis and expatriates would be subjected to ‘severe penalties’ under the kingdom’s regulations and anti-terrorism laws,” notes Al Arabiya News Channel.
“The Arab League on Friday formally branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a move that raises concerns of deepening divisions among Arab countries and ramps up the pressure on the Shiite group, which is fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria,” the news outlet explains.
Hezbollah has also been blacklisted by Gulf States, the United States, and other Western countries.
In late February, Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, a Saudi military spokesman, urged Lebanon to take action to stop Hezbollah from exporting its “mercenaries” into Yemen and Syria.
Saudi Arabia has declared that its decision to deploy ground forces into Syria is “final” and “irreversible” despite warnings from Russia, Iran, and Shiite-controlled Iraq that such a move could escalate the Syrian civil war into a regional conflict.
A Saudi-led coalition is fighting against Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen. Iran has been accused of lending support to the Houthis, an allegation denied by the Shiite rebels.
Iran-backed Hezbollah jihadists are currently fighting against U.S. interests alongside Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.
Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia are regional enemies.
Rajeh Badi, a spokesman for the Yemeni government, which is backed by the U.S. and the international community, has said that it has evidence that Shiite Hezbollah fighters are backing its opponents, the Houthi rebels.
“The [Yemeni] government, which is currently working with the Saudi-led Arab coalition and Popular Resistance units to dislodge Houthi militants from the capital and other areas, said that Hezbollah military trainers planned ‘hostile’ acts implemented by Houthis against Saudi Arabia,” reported Al Arabiya.
Hezbollah militants are fighting in “the battlefields along the border with Saudi Arabia,” where attacks from Yemen have killed about 90 civilians and soldiers in the kingdom since March 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition began combating the Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen, explained Badi.
The revelations by the Yemeni government spokesman come after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and Bahrain warned or prohibited their citizens against traveling to Lebanon.