Middle Eastern conflict, global instability


Different events last week in the Middle East increase fears of a large-scale war in this region, while it is clear that Western, and especially American, influence in this region continues to decrease. All this while the global power struggle between the West on the one hand and China, Russia and these two countries’ allies on the other, will also increasingly play out in the Middle East.

Iran’s military carried out airstrikes on targets in Syria, Iraq and Pakistan last week. Pakistan’s military, which is much stronger than Iran’s and has nuclear weapons, quickly responded by launching counter-attacks on targets in Iran. Israel also carried out airstrikes on targets in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon last week.

Meanwhile, the Houthi rebels from Yemen continue to launch attacks on especially Western cargo ships in the Red Sea. Last week, the USA and the United Kingdom reacted strongly to this for the second time in two weeks with airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

Last week, the US military killed a terrorist leader supported by Iran in Baghdad, while the Israelis killed leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Special operations by America, Israel and even Britain are increasing in every Middle Eastern country.

Last Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for the first time since the conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out, made it clear during a media conference that his government is opposed to the idea of ​​a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank. According to Netanyahu, it is essential for Israel’s security that Israel obtain complete security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River.

Netanyahu’s statement comes after increasing pressure from his ally, the USA, that long-term peace between Israel and the Palestinians should be discussed and that the idea of ​​a Palestinian state should be part of negotiations.

Over the past few decades, the ayatollahs in Iran have tried to create a so-called ring of fire around Israel by training proxies in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen and supplying them with weapons to finally wipe out Israel. However, Iran is quite alone in its ideal of extermination with Arab countries who all want an end to conflict in the Middle East.

With Iran’s attack on Pakistan last week, this country’s desperate dictatorship, which is constantly struggling to suppress its own population’s aspirations for greater freedom, probably overplayed its hand. The leaders of Iran want to rekindle Iranian nationalism and suppress internal divisions through forceful action.

During the election year in the USA, Joe Biden will also want to convey a message to American citizens with forceful action and even a greater military re-entry into the Middle East that, despite valid questions about his ability, he can lead to global add conflict.

How Russia and China see their role within the growing Middle Eastern conflict is currently still uncertain, but the ability and aspirations of these two world powers should not be underestimated. What this does mean is a rapidly growing risk for a larger regional war in which major world powers, each with their own political agendas, can be drawn into.

This poses great political and economic risks for the whole world, and also for South Africa with its dubious friends in the Middle East.

This news commentary was provided by Pretoria FM. Listen daily to Clankkoerant on Pretoria FM for the latest news commentary.