If you have been reading the strange headlines out of the Middle East over the last week, then you have noticed that most important Islamic nations are taking sides on one of two coalitions.
On one side, you have American long-time ally Saudi Arabia with its regional heavyweight friends Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (famous for both Dubai and Abu Dhabi emirate cities), and Bahrain. On the other side is the victim in this growing story, Qatar, which just happens to be moving more firmly into the camp of its principal ally, the other regional superpower The Islamic Republic of Iran.
Now this becomes more interesting for Americans as the United States’ President Donald Trump has just been over to the Middle East and held his much-touted Arab Islamic American Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. President is clearly firmly on the side of the Saudis, the only Islamic nation which he correctly sees as possessing the willpower, firepower, and the regional clout to stand up to the nuclear and terrorist-supporting ambitions of Iran.
On only a local economic scale, the destabilization of the unfolding row is already troubling. The Saudis, Egyptians, Bahrainians, and Emirates have cut all economic and diplomatic ties to Qatar in what amounts to practically a full-scale economic embargo on the tiny but oil-rich Arab nation.
This means that no Qatari-bound land or air traffic will even be allowed to pass through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or Bahrain en route to or from Qatar until the Qataris meet the demands of the other Arab states. This is problematic as the U.S. maintains an important military base in Qatar.
Qatar Airways for example had to reroute all of its flights through other airspaces and can not land at the airports of any of these four important regional nations. Nor can their passengers transit through these four countries en route to other connecting flights leaving from their airports. It is already creating a logistical mess for airline customers throughout the Middle East.
What are the demands of these heavyweight Arab nations that Qatar must meet? Saudi Arabia and the allies are incensed at the continued Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations that it generously finances with its massive oil wealth and revenues. Even more significantly, they are tired of the Qataris interfering with their collective efforts to isolate regional rogue nation Iran, which is in the midst of a massive push for ballistic missile and nuclear weapons technology.
It matters hugely to you as these escalating tensions could easily erupt into a regional war between the Saudis and their friends on the one side against the Iranians and their proxies the Qataris (as well as Syrians and even Lebanese) on the other. The U.S. would have to back Saudi Arabia and has substantial military assets already in place, meaning that war which the Iranian Guard forces have been itching for against the “great Satan” of America for years in the Persian Gulf is now one step closer to becoming political reality.
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