The deputy chief of the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group lashed out at Saudi Arabia on Monday, accusing the kingdom of committing “genocide” with its airstrikes campaign that has been targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels for over two weeks.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Sheikh Naim Kassem said Saudi Arabia made a “strategic mistake” by interfering in Yemen’s internal affairs and warned that the kingdom will “pay a heavy price” for the campaign.
More than two weeks of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels known as Houthis have failed to stop the rebel power grab. The Saudi campaign has also turned Yemen into a new proxy war between the kingdom and Iran, which has backed the Houthis, though Tehran denies aiding the rebels militarily. Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite group, is a close Iran ally.
“Saudi Arabia has embroiled itself and will incur very serious losses that have started to show and will increasingly reflect on its status, its internal situation, and its role in the region,” Kassem said. “What happened in Yemen is a crime that cannot be ignored … Saudi Arabia is committing genocide in Yemen, we cannot be silent after that.”
Kassem, who spoke in the Shiite group’s stronghold in southern Beirut, suggested that the situation inside Saudi Arabia could implode as a result of its “aggression” in Yemen.
Report filed by The Associated Press