Is the Middle East on verge of a regional war?

20 May

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Middle East Monitor, Monday, 19 May 2014

News coming from the capitals of the Middle East indicate that a regional war is nigh: military drills in Saudi Arabia under the pretext of fighting terrorism, others between Egypt and the UAE, and a third between Jordan and Turkey, not to mention the ongoing military escalation on the borders between Algeria and Tunisia and in the vicinity of Libya, in addition to artillery battles in Benghazi.

Simultaneously, Israeli navy is deployed along the Gazan coasts and intensifies its presence in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, France announces the mobilization of three thousand troops north of the Mediterranean; a state of military emergency in Algeria, General Hifter insists to defeat the Ansar Alshariah militants in northern Libya, Hezbollah fighters deployed on the Syrian borders in anticipation of Israeli surprises in the Golan Heights. Reports received by Al-Arab Al-Yawm from Lebanon suggest that Hezbollah has a comprehensive plan in coordination with the Syrian army to confront what it calls “the armed takfiris” situated in the Golan Heights and allegedly protected by Israel.

Hezbollah appears to be seeking Israeli escalation in the Golan and Syria as a strategic option for the Damascus front to alleviate the internal Lebanese divisions.

Iran, on the other hand, refuses to cooperate with Qatari intelligence, favoring rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, but without accepting an invitation by Prince Saudi Al-Faisal to visit Riyadh. The Saudi ambassador to Beirut returns to contribute to his country’s influence after the presidential candidacy has been put on hold, and after Samir JaaJaa’s self-nomination sent a critical message that Hezbollah’s influence is fading.

The region is heading to military escalation on more than one front. The joint military intervention to defeat the “Jihadist state” in Derna, Benghazi and Tripoli is increasingly becoming the most likely scenario. Egypt’s General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi kicks off his presidential campaign with military agreements, not yet finalized, with Russia, which angers Israel.

The battles taking place in the Middle East now are run by back offices and intelligence agencies. The motives are mostly political, and everyone is worried about what is yet to unfold.

From Al Arab Al Yawm, 19 May 2014

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