The Hezbollah terror group has raised its alert status across Lebanon, fearing threat of attack by Israel and other nations, Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported Saturday.
The news came amid a political crisis between Beirut and Saudi Arabia, sparked by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s surprise resignation. Hariri cited Iran and Hezbollah’s meddling in the region as the reason he was stepping down. The November 4 resignation broadcast from the Saudi capital is widely believed to have been engineered by the Gulf kingdom.
Hezbollah reportedly raised its alert status on Thursday, the same day Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called on it to disarm and warned of regional efforts to oust it from the Lebanese government.
The Kuwaiti paper further reported that Hezbollah leaders have instructed a halt to arms shipments sent to the group from Iran through war-torn Syria.
Israel is widely believed to have carried out airstrikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria — including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles — as well as Hezbollah positions, though it rarely officially confirms such attacks.
In August a former air force chief said Israel carried out dozens of airstrikes on weapons convoys destined for the Lebanese terror group over the past five years.
Al-Jubeir warned Friday that there will be no stability in Lebanon unless Hezbollah disarms.
The resignation of Saudi-aligned Hariri has thrown Lebanon into turmoil and raised concerns that the country could be dragged into a battle for regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Top Lebanese officials have accused Saudi Arabia of forcing Hariri’s resignation and holding him in the kingdom against his will.
Hariri arrived in France Saturday at the invitation of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who is attempting to help broker a solution to the crisis. Hariri has denied any coercion by the Saudis.
Agencies contributed to this report.