The war in Yemen wages on, seemingly without end. And if the Saudi-led coalition doesn't let humanitarian aid into the country there will be a huge famine. Saudi Arabia is fighting the Houthis, which dominates the government and is Iran backed. Saudi Arabia, which is Sunni, wants to be the dominant force in the Middle East. At the moment, it is waging a proxy war against Iran and is failing. It has not achieved the gains it hoped it would by backing the rebels in Syria; Bashir Assad, who is backed by Iran is still in power. The next country on the cards is Lebanon and in a delicately balanced government between about 14 different religions, where the Prime Minister is always a Sunni, Saudi Arabia has caused chaos by insisting that the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, resigned. Saudi Arabia wants to wage war against Iran-back Hezbollah which certainly dominates in the South of Lebanon. (The photos are from there). This article in Arab Digest explains well what is happening in Lebanon.
Summary: resignation of Prime Minister Hariri less a Lebanese affair than part of the Saudi obsession with Iran (backed by Israel but not the US). Poor Lebanon will pay the price.
On 4 November the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. He made the announcement in Riyadh, saying that there were covert plans against his life. In language more characteristic of Saudi than of Lebanese politics (he is a dual Lebanese/Saudi national) he accused Iran of creating in Hizbullah a state within a state; “I say to Iran and its allies – you have lost in your efforts to meddle in the affairs of the Arab world... [the region] will rise again and the hands that you have wickedly extended into it will be cut off.” An AP report comments that “Saudi fingerprints were seen all over Hariri's resignation.”
As we commented in a posting of 3 November 2016 the Lebanese political game is played by rules laid down over seventy years ago in the National Pact. Since Ottoman times the population has consisted of a wide palette of minorities, Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Druze, not to mention Armenians, Kurds and others. The president is a Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni, the speaker of parliament a Shia, the army commander a Druze, and so on. Minority communities include differing political or tribal elements, so that both the governments and the oppositions have been mosaic coalitions. This unique system has given Lebanon prosperity and stability, interrupted from time to time by external forces and events, Palestinian (refugees in 1948, PLO from Jordan in 1970), Syrian (multiple intervention from 1976 to 2005, now 1.5 million refugees), Israeli (various wars, occupation of the mainly Shia south from 1982 to 2000).
In 2005 the long serving Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, father of Saad, was assassinated. Hizbullah was accused (not only Hizbullah), but the investigation got nowhere. After long conflict and confusion the present government under President Michel Aoun was formed a year ago. As we commented on 17 March it resulted from a deal with Hizbullah. Originally formed to resist the Israeli occupation, Hizbullah represents the Lebanese Shia community as well as being the most powerful military force in Lebanon. Supported by Iran it has played a major military role in the Syrian civil war in support of the regime.