A Hezbollah cell in Kuwait stokes a social media storm
All things MENA conflict land on Twitter at some point. Right now it's Kuwait's and Hezbollah's turn. (AFP/File)
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Kuwaiti media reported the seizure of a massive weapons cache this weekend, during a raid on an alleged Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah sleeper cell in the country.
Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said it found ammunition, explosives and grenades under several houses along the Iraqi border, according to Reuters new agency, prompting the arrest of the three men who owned the buildings.
This raid is par the course for the country’s current system. In June, it declared war on all hard-line militant groups. The ministry said they believed the weapons were transferred from Iraq through Iranian proxies operating there.
It's important to look at the facts here — Hezbollah, whose forces have fought alongside Syrian government and Iranian militia troops in Syria, has purportedly shown up in Kuwait, a Gulf country and member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in which Saudi Arabia has a strong presence.
Given everything unfolding in the region — we're talking Yemen, Syria and Iraq, where Iranian proxies have come up against criticism by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led countries for their part in conflicts— this bust means a lot more than a weapons cache. At least according to social media.
On Sunday, Twitter users from countries across the region were tweeting about the news under the hastag #خلية_حزب_الله_بالكويت, Arabic for "Hezbollah Cell in Kuwait." Here's some Arabic takeaways from that online conversation.
اي كويتي ينتمي لحزب الله المفروض سحب جنسيته وابعاد لجزر القمر #خلية_حزب_الله_بالكويت— أيمن (@al_k7li) August 16, 2015
Translation: Any Kuwaiti who belongs to Hezbollah should have his nationality drawn away from home.
نتوقع من مجلس التعاون التقدم بشكوى للأمم المتحدة ضد ايران و المطالبه بمحاكمة حسن زميرة كمجرم حرب. #خلية_حزب_الله_بالكويت— Abdulaziz Almahmoud (@Aziz_Almahmoud) August 16, 2015
Translation: Our expectation is that GCC will file a complaint against Iran at the UN and that Hassan Nasrallah be tried as a war criminal.
موقف المواطن الشيعي الشريف بعد كشف #خلية_حزب_الله_بالكويت يشبه موقف السني بعد تفجير الصادق شعور مررنا به جميعاً ف ليس كل شيعي حزب الله— فيصل عبدالله الثنيان (@faisalabh) August 16, 2015
Translation: The position of any Shiite citizen after discovering the Hezbollah cell, resembles the Sunni after the explosion of al-Sadeq mosque, this is a feeling that we all passed through, not every Shiite is loyal to Hezbollah.
Translation: Kuwaiti government should list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which in return will put all its followers in jail.
Translation: I am sure that Lebanese who work in GCC will be affected after today.
اكثر كلمه تسمعها في الاعلام الكويتي مافي فرق بين السنه والشيعه كلنا 《اخوان》 #خلية_حزب_الله_بالكويت— عبدالله الزهراني (@zaid9988841) August 16, 2015
Translation: The most used word in Kuwaiti media now is “Sunni and Shiite Kuwaitis are brothers."
قائمة الاغتيالات #خلية_حزب_الله_بالكويت ضمت أهم الشخصيات المسؤولة في أجهزة الأمن رأسهم وزيري الدفاع والداخلية وبعض الشيوخ بهدف أحداث الفوضى— خدمة الكويت نيوز (@Q8___NewS) August 16, 2015
Translation: The cells included big names such as the minister of defence and interior, plus some sheikhs, it will create a mess in Kuwait.
Translation: A quick question, will the US interfere if the Hezbollah cell succeeded in Kuwait as it did with Saddam?