Saudi Arabia Encourages Citizens To Leave Lebanon After Bombings

Saudi Arabia is telling its citizens in Lebanon to get out after a double terrorist bombing outside the Iranian embassy earlier in the week and escalating tensions with the Islamic group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group, has indirectly placed blame on Saudi Arabia for two attacks on Tuesday in which suicide bombers detonated themselves outside the Iranian embassy, killing 25.

A Sunni led group linked to al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 25 people.

Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah are known enemies. Moreover, the Syrian civil war has put them once again on opposite sides.

Saudi rulers are key backers of Syrian rebels, while Hezbollah is fighting alongside the forces of troubled President Bashar Assad.

On Thursday, a statement from the Saudi Arabian embassy in Lebanon, urged its citizens to “return to the kingdom and be cautious.”

As a coastal location, Lebanon has always been a popular tourist destination for Saudis. However, since Hezbollah has been involved in the Syrian conflict, those numbers have dropped.

Tuesday’s attacks were followed by some anti-Saudi Arabia propaganda from pro-Hezbollah media outlets, accusing Riydah of being behind the blasts.

A headline on the pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al Akhbar read: “Saudi Arabia: losses in Syria and suicide in Lebanon.”

The publication said on Thursday that Lebanon has “entered into the era of suicide bombings,” adding that the attackers had “resorted to the takfiri heritage sponsored by the Saudi kingdom with millions of dollars.”

Saudi Arabia has issued similar warnings in the past, while tension because of the civil war in Syria grows in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi Shiite group backed by Iran said it fired six shells into the Saudi Arabian desert on Thursday.

Six mortar bombs landed near a border post in northern Saudi Arabia. The group said it was warning the kingdom to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.

“The goal was to send a warning message to Saudis to tell them that their border stations and patrol are within our range of fire,” Wathiq al-Batat, commander of Iraq’s al-Mukhtar Army group, told Reuters on Thursday.

Iran has not commented on the attack and denies any involvement in the shelling of Saudi Arabia.