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Fri Nov 10, 2017, 08:59 PM


Case of Missing Lebanese Prime Minister Stirs Middle East Tensions

Source: New York Times


BEIRUT, Lebanon — When the Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri made a sudden trip abroad last week, it was taken at first to be a routine visit with his political patron, Saudi Arabia. But the next day, he unexpectedly announced his resignation by video from Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

He has yet to return to Lebanon.

On Friday, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement, part of his governing coalition at home, charged that the Saudis were holding him against his will, while the Saudis have said they were protecting him from an unspecified assassination plot.

The Hariri case has become just one in a profusion of bewildering events — from the Saudi Arabia’s arrest of princes and wealthy businessmen last weekend to ordering its citizens out of Lebanon on Thursday — that are escalating tensions in the Middle East and fueling anxiety about whether the region is on the verge of military conflict.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-lebanon-france-macron.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Isn't "on the verge of military conflict" pretty much the Mideast's default setting?

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