Bahrain warns citizens against travel to Lebanon

France believes Hariri free of movements in Saudi

As the plot thickens in Riyadh, here's a roundup of the chatter on the streets.

Sabhan also said that Saudi Arabia supported all of Hariri's stances in the past, including the agreement related to choosing a Lebanese president, adding that the Saudi kingdom did not incite Hariri to resign. The irony was lost on him.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah, said there should be no political escalation in response to Hariri's declaration on Saturday, which was made from Saudi Arabia and came as surprise even to his aides. Its arms are a divisive issue and there have been fears that any attempt to disarm them without Hizballah's consent would trigger a new civil war in Lebanon. But it is plausible that the Saudis are trying to create the context for a different means of contesting Iran in Lebanon: an "Israeli"-Hezbollah war".

Riyadh, however, linked the attack to Hezbollah and Iran, saying the Lebanese group was behind the missile launch. Some were the sons of the late King Abdullah.

A lot of chatter involved Israel. "Putting together a coalition that served Hezbollah's interest in governance legitimized it". With Gaza politically neutralised for now, following Hamas' handover of power to the Palestinian Authority, Israel could very well see this as an optimal time to strike. "But if the Saudis fail and Hezbollah strengthens its position and has more room to maneuver, we will lose", said Shavit.

The war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine.

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Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, has been serving as prime minister since December 2016.

But the cash price of Lebanon's US dollar-denominated bonds fell, with longer-dated maturities suffering hefty losses as investors took a dim view of the medium-to longer-term outlook for Lebanon.

"What happened was Saudi madness and we'll wait and see what happens over the next few days", Nasrallah told his associates. Iran's direct intervention and Russia's air campaign rescued Assad and turned the tide in his favor, recapturing large stretches of territory.

Hizballah is both a military and a political organization that is represented in the Lebanese parliament and in the Hariri-led coalition government formed last year.

Earlier I spoke to a contact who used to work for the billionaire prince.

Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat cited unnamed sources close to Hariri as speculating that he would probably remain outside Lebanon because of the security threat against him. This was quickly judged to be more than a rhetorical flourish by Sabhan, as the Saudi minister stressed that Riyadh will henceforth treat Lebanon as a "hostile government".

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