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Tinderbox. The middle East descends into chaos
Material posted: Publication date: 31-07-2013

In international politics summer has ceased to be a slow season. After the military coup in Egypt, the situation in the middle East was confused. In Syria, the West and the Gulf Nations put on the local "Muslim Brothers".

Now, after the fall of Morsi, this rate is not justified. The Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who was considered one of the instigators of the "Arab spring" and the main sponsor of the "Brothers", under pressure from Washington, agreed in June to cede the throne to his son Sheikh Tamim, unlike father, not wanting to get involved in foreign adventures and to invest astronomical sums in a middle Eastern revolution. After suffering a crushing defeat in Egypt, the Qatari elite are not seeking to grow a new organization like the "Muslim brotherhood", by which Doha was able to spread its influence in the region. Yes and hope for a windfall is no longer necessary (due to the shale boom in the U.S. Qatar is now forced to fight for their share of the gas market and it is not up to political mega-projects). Symbolic in this sense was the resignation of longtime Qatari Premier Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, which is associated with irrepressible ambitions of the tiny Emirate.

Not as confident as before, feels, and Turkey. Neoromantiki the project of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing serious internal and external challenges. In major Turkish cities, continuing mass demonstrations and neighbors no longer seem to perceive Ankara as a regional leader. Moreover, in Egypt the Islamists, who are largely focused on the Turkish model, were overthrown by the military, defending secular principles — that is, in fact, the same caste, against which has been a decade of fighting team Erdogan. In Syria, the Turks also were trapped. They are too early to write off from the accounts of Bashar al-Assad, has long had illusions about the unity of the Syrian opposition and could not prevent the emergence of a Kurdish enclave along the Turkish border. This enclave, as expected, came under the influence of the Kurdistan workers party — fighting organization, to which Turkey is a fierce fight. And when the Syrian Kurds fighting the militants of the Free Syrian army, funded by Ankara, and casually shelled Turkish territory, one can only shrug. And although the Turks are trying to save face by sending to the border with Syria soldiers, tanks and aircraft, on the intervention they are, apparently, not solved (after all, if it were possible, they would have carried out the invasion a year ago).

In Syria — the situation is deadlocked. Despite the fact that in late spring, government forces failed to achieve "radical change", the civil war is far from over. Because it simultaneously contains elements of political, religious, and regional great-power confrontation.

The Syrian conflict threatens to turn into a big middle East war. Aware of the significant role played in the recent victories of the army of Bashar al-Assad, the Lebanese Shiite organization "Hezbollah". Lebanon has long been considered almost the main Apple of discord between Iran and "paddy" monarchies. Remember the famous fatwa of the Saudi scholars, who declined to pray for the victory of Pro-Iranian Hizbollah in the war with Israel. And remember an angry response from Syrian President Assad called Arab leaders who criticized Hizbullah, "apostates" and "parasites".

The movement "Hezbollah" has become one of the leading regional players only with the support of Iran and Syria. Lebanese militants have received from the patrons of modern weapons (according to some sources, at the disposal of Hizbollah is about forty thousand of missiles, among them Chinese and Syrian Scud-type missiles "land-sea"). And now I try to give Damascus and Tehran a hundredfold, taking an active part in the Syrian conflict. In the West, of course, it caused irritation. It is no coincidence that July 22, the EU took the decision to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and freeze its Bank accounts in Europe. As a result, the leaders of the movement, which is closely linked with the government of Lebanon, not even have the right to visit European capitals.

Extremely negative impact of the Syrian conflict and the situation in neighboring Iraq. The local Sunnis are increasingly satisfied with the attacks on "heretical" Shiite government of Nouri al Maliki. And recently there was an attack on the prison Abu Ghraib and Taji. Militants used mortars and suicide bombers and has released more than 500 radical Islamists, including al-Qaida leader in Iraq. Now experts claim that the situation in the country has reached the highest point of tension since anti-American riots 2006-2007.

The middle East is more reminiscent of the classic "powder keg", and none of the external players seems unable and unwilling to prevent the explosion. At the end of June, the foreign Ministers of States members of the group "friends of Syria" met in Doha and agreed in a short time "to take the necessary practical measures to change the balance of power in favor of the Syrian opposition". At the meeting, of course, was also attended by the U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry, who used to call Assad "a good friend of Washington." "On the eve of an international conference in Geneva, the opponents of the ruling in the Damascus regime of trying to do everything possible to ensure the balance of power, writes The Washington Post, that Assad should not address the conference from the perspective of a winner, otherwise the Geneva-2 will turn into a farce."

However, the international conference, which in the spring of diplomats had high hopes for, one way or another is doomed to failure. The opposition in Syria remains scattered. Yes, the meeting in Doha it was decided centrally to supply the rebels with weapons through the Supreme command of the "free Syrian army" led by General Salim Idris, a defector. But there is no doubt that in the territories outside the control of Assad, is still ruled by radical Islamists with whom to talk just about anything. Another important point: the Western powers refused to invite Iran to Geneva of representatives, although it is obvious that the Islamic Republic plays a significant role in the Syrian civil war.

But perhaps the saddest thing in anticipation of the international conference on Syria is a complete misunderstanding between two of its main proponents: Russia and the United States. In America in connection with the case of Snowden rises the next wave of Russophobia. "Russia, — said the other day Senator Lindsey Graham at a hearing in Congress — is the main negative character in the international arena. She continues to provide cover to the Iranian nuclear program and sell sophisticated weapons to the Assad regime, which kills them tens of thousands of its own citizens".

Americans cannot understand that Russia has taken such a firm position on the Syrian issue out of a desire not to annoy Washington. First Moscow not care about Assad and his government, and the inviolability of the principle of state sovereignty. In international politics it comes from the fact that any change to the status quo — for the worse.

And in an era of chaotic change, when yesterday's victors find themselves suddenly swept away by the maddened crowd, it can bring certain advantages. At least Russia's position now looks more consistent than the U.S. position, which forced each time to make bids.


Source: However,

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