KUWAIT: Kuwaiti authorities have deported 11 Lebanese and three Iraqis for alleged links with Hezbollah, the movement classified by Gulf monarchies as a “terrorist” group, a local newspaper said yesterday. The 14 were recently expelled at the request of Kuwaiti security services after they were found to belong to Hezbollah, daily Al-Qabas reported, without providing further details.
The newspaper quoted a security official saying that a list had been prepared of Lebanese and Iraqi citizens, some in top corporate positions, “who are unwelcome and should be deported” from Kuwait. The deportations came amid an increasing crackdown by Gulf states on foreign citizens with alleged links to Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Al-Qabas cited a security source as saying the 14 people had been expelled at the request of the state security service. The Interior Ministry was not immediately available for comment. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) named Hezbollah, an Iranian-allied Islamist political movement that is fighting for President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, a terrorist group on March 2.
The Arab League declared Hezbollah a “terrorist” group on March 11, after Gulf monarchies did the same earlier this month over the movement’s support for Assad’s regime in Syria’s war. Last week, Bahrain deported an unspecified number of Lebanese residents for alleged links to Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia warned that it will punish citizens and residents who “support or demonstrate belonging” to the group.
Riyadh last month halted a $3 billion program for military aid to Beirut in protest against Hezbollah, which is a key political force in Lebanon and has lawmakers in its parliament.
The daily said Kuwait’s state security body had prepared a list of “unwanted” Lebanese and Iraqis, including advisers to major companies, for deportation “in the public interest”. At the time of the GCC decision, Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani accused Hezbollah of recruiting young men to carry out terrorist attacks in Gulf states, smuggling in weapons and explosives, and inciting chaos, violence and political unrest. Hezbollah called the GCC decision “reckless and hostile” and blamed it on Saudi Arabia. -Agencies