Middle East 2017

Posted: February 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Middle East in 2017 will have a reset as everyone will have to consider the action of the new administration.

The most important development is the US-Iran relationship.

President Trump is making true of its promise to get tough on Iran and this does not bode well. It already declared that Iran is an exporter of terrorism (which is actually wrong as all terrorist are Sunni which have their ideological base in Saudi Arabia*) and against Obama’s nuclear deal.

Iran now is well entrenched in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and a core ally of Russia.

In Iraq there is even an alliance of Iran ground forces and US air force and elite units in fighting Islamic State.

Underestimating Iran as a military force, specially in an asymmetric war scenario, is hopefully such an idiocy that even President Trump will know.

Not only the Iranian Quds special  forces  are highly trained and specialized having fought (and won) in Syria and Iraq against Islamic State.

Even worse, the Hezbollah were the only fore that Israel could not defeat in the last Lebanon campaign.

If there is a showdown US/Iran it will probably start in Yemen. The Houthi at this moment are very lightly supported by Iran and still are resisting all the other Gulf States. Yemen can become easily a worst-than-Afghanistan issue for the new administration as oil is involved as both there are a lot of shipping lanes and Saudi oil infrastructures.

As there is a Turkey-Saudi Arabia re alignment, this could easily morph in the Middle East war.

Hopefully Russia will be able to be a mediator.

Oil can be one of the Black Swan this year.

Syria  has disappeared from Western media as the West backed insurgency is almost finish (currently encircled by Turkish and Syrian government forces backed by Russian warplane. Syria, Iran, Turkey, Russia and China are deciding how to cut the pie (of the reconstruction efforts).

Russia is quite friendly with Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Western Libya (still amazes me how Clinton-Obama lost almost the entire Middle East in 8 years).

China is very close to Pakistan.

That is the Middle East for you…..not really.

Morocco has interestingly positive dynamic. It banned Burkas and just recently made it not punishable (with death sentence) apostasy (if someone converts from Islam to a different religion). Morocco has the highest number of request for new Catholic churches of the entire Africa.

  •  Iran sponsored terrorism does exist, but it is political not religious – so mostly against Israel and some US interest – but not about building a Muslim Caliphate

 

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