Muhammad Ali al-Husseini, Secretary-General of the Arab Islamic Council in Lebanon, has become a defender of Saudi Arabia’s positions in the region’s various files, starting with Lebanon, as he considers that “the Kingdom does not intervene in Lebanon except to provide fraternal aid of all kinds,” and that it “distanced itself from Lebanese political conflicts A long time ago”.
In another tweet on Twitter, Al-Husseini said “Saudi support continues, and the Lebanese must cut off every tongue that offends the kingdom and its leaders,” blaming Iran and Hezbollah for thwarting the French initiative aimed at forming a government of specialists away from the control of the parties.
In a speech addressed to Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, he asked, “Why are arguments made for accusations directed against Saudi Arabia without any evidence or basis?”
But observers of the Lebanese issue believe that Al-Husseini’s statements do not reflect a Saudi breakthrough within the sect controlled by Iran’s proxies, and that if Saudi Arabia wants to compete with Iranian or Turkish influence, it should not bet on political or religious faces not of a popular depth, especially since Al-Husseini himself has previously praised Turkey, its military and economic power, and the politics of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It is not known until now whether Saudi Arabia is considering a strong return to the Lebanese arena or not, at a time when Hezbollah has become the influential player in forming the government and obstructing foreign initiatives aimed at helping Lebanon get out of its political and economic crisis.
On the other hand, Turkey found in Sheikh Subhi al-Tufayli, the former Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, the front that defends its policy, especially by standing against calls for a boycott of Turkish products, which have become a dilemma for Erdogan.
In a Friday sermon, Al-Tufayli addressed those who called for a boycott of Turkish goods (he did not name them), saying, “You are opening the Zionist market for the fierce enemy, and closing to Muslims, this picture is dirty.”
Al-Tufayli praised the Turkish president’s policies in both Libya and Azerbaijan, describing France, Russia and Iran as “malicious” countries.
Observers say that Turkey is entering the Lebanese stadium on more than one front, as it offered to assist in the investigation of the Beirut port bombing, and sent urgent assistance. It is also working to penetrate the Sunni street in light of the presence of a number of charities that support it, especially in Tripoli, the capital of North Lebanon.
Turkey’s choice of Lebanon as a battlefield coincides with the increasing Saudi neglect of the political scene and its disregard for the media scene there, which could help the Turks and their regional allies to invest in a vital and influential field in the region.
Observers point out that Ankara’s bet on Tufayli is intended to benefit from his criticism of Saudi Arabia and its policies, and not in the context of his campaign, which has become accustomed to Hezbollah and Iran, which is an ongoing campaign that raises questions about Hezbollah’s silence on him.
And Sheikh Subhi al-Tufayli is considered a controversial and confusing figure in Lebanon. Perhaps what is most surprising is how Hezbollah has dealt with it, as it turns a blind eye to the fierce campaigns it is waging against it from the estate it established in Ain Bourdai in the Baalbek-Hermel region close to the Syrian border. In these campaigns, Tufayli focuses on criticizing Iranian policies and the policy of Hezbollah, which is in charge of implementing these policies in Lebanon and abroad.
Personalities in Baalbek attribute Tufayli’s ability to behave the way he behaves to the fact that the community in the Baalbek region and the nearby Hermel region is an armed tribal society that possesses its customs and traditions and has remained since before the independence of Lebanon in 1943 outside the authority of the Lebanese state. This facilitated the widespread cultivation of cannabis in that region.
In addition, the geographical nature of the area in which Tufayli resides is very difficult, and it is difficult for any regular army to storm it and control it for a long time. This is what enabled the parasite to be entrenched in Bourdai without having a significant impact outside it.
It is sufficient for al-Tufayli to receive a little help in order to maintain the loyalty of his supporters and protect himself from any attack on the region that aims to subjugate him.
A character from that region says that Hezbollah is taking advantage of Tufayli’s presence to claim that it does not use violence against its opponents. As for the truth, Hezbollah knows full well that its collision with Tufayli necessitates a massive military campaign and human losses on the one hand, and a provocation to the tribal community in that region on the other hand. This is something that the party seems indispensable for. This character believes that the most important reason for the party to avoid direct confrontation with Tufayli is its limited influence on the Lebanese and Shiite levels. The limits of its influence were evident through the statements, interviews and seminars that he held, which had little impact on Hezbollah, which still enjoys unlimited Iranian support as a major general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that was and is still under the command of the commander of the Quds Force.
Lebanese political circles who know the Baalbek-Hermel region well believe that the Turkish wager, after the Gulf betting, on the parasite cannot have any significant impact, especially in light of the man’s limited influence, an influence that does not go beyond the region in which he lives. These circles stress that investing in the parasite is of little use in the long term.
A prominent figure in the region said that Hezbollah has its own accounts that make it avoid any clash with Tufayli. These calculations are based on letting the former Secretary-General of the party act in the way he pleases, as long as the experiences of the past thirty years have shown that he has little influence, as a Shiite, outside the circle of the Hawza that he created and the small area he controls.
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