In the last few days, we have witnessed an implosion in the diplomatic relations between Middle Eastern countries. Sensitive information was published on the Qatari News Agency (QNA) website that suggested relations between Qatar and Iran. Other materials suggest that Qatar has been funding the Muslim Brotherhood as means of undermining at least Egypt, possibly others as well. Qatar has maintained that the information is false and that hackers placed the information there. As a result, several of its neighbours have cut diplomatic ties to the country and have enforced a sea, land, and air blockade against them.
The United States has attacked pro-government forces in Syria causing the deaths of several people. The move was immediately denounced by the Syrian government and several of its allies. The US claims that they informed the Syrian government that the strike was about to occur, and thus it is their fault for not avoiding it. Syria has responded by sending out a message reminding the US that Syria is capable of striking pro-US forces. The incident has increased current hostilities between the two countries.
Just last night a group of ISIS-Daesh fighters launched two attacks upon Tehran. A few men disguised as women entered Iranian parliament with assault rifles and a handgun and proceeded to attack the building. They were eventually killed by security forces. Another attack was launched against the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini. At least one explosion rocked the capital. Iran has pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia who is a known funder of the terrorist group. This attack comes only two weeks after Saudi royalty in waiting called for war to be taken into Iran’s borders.
The situation right now in the Middle East, particularly the Gulf states, is edging ever close to all out war. Threats and real acts of violence are being thrown every which way. US imperialist actions have drastically increased the violence since its operations began to eliminate the last few states which have resisted their interests.
It began with the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, to Saddam in Iraq, to Mummar Gaddafi in Libya, and now the war against the independence of Syria. As the US continues to invade and occupy more countries in the region, the greater the instability becomes. The situation is exacerbated by the presence of Russia which has attempted to assist the right to self-determination of at least the Syrian Republic.
While the Middle East has almost always been a troubled region, this latest round of violence and accusations threatens to break into a war. At least Turkey is seeking military action in response to the allegations made against Qatar. The government has already tabled a proposal to send its military into the country. How far this request for soldiers gets remains to be seen. But the threat of it alone is quite alarming. This is something that President Erdogan wants to do. He wants to start a war in the region.
This latest round of hostilities doesn’t bode well for US interests, regardless of the fact they’re primarily to blame. The US has called for a de-escalation to the ongoing conflict. There is a very real possibility of war between US allies in the region. In an attempt to deflect aggression away from Qatar, the US has accused Russia of hacking the QNA website and placing false articles. This seems to be the new tactic for the US, simply blame Russian hackers as they have for other troubles they face. Russia has, of course, denied the allegations.
A far more logical explanation is a hacking by Saudi Arabia itself. Since 1995 Qatar has exercised greater independence from Riyadh. The development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has made Qatar financially strong. They’re the largest exporter of LNG, so much so, that their per-capita income is $130,000. The supply of gas comes from the offshore Northfield which they share with Iran. Qatar also owns a $2.7 billion stake in Russia’s oil major Rosneft.
With increased independence from Riyadh, the state has moved closer to Iran and Russia. Saudi Arabia is not on good terms with either of these countries. But, any such hostilities against Qatar place the US at risk since it’s the home of the US Central Command. This is why the US is so opposed to any military or economic action against them. The US wants stability among its client states, but Riyadh also wants Qatar back under their influence. This is why a blockade has been placed against them – to hinder their exports of LNG.
The situation there is unstable and at least Turkey is actively seeking military action. US imperialism has brought this situation upon the Middle East with its divisions and desire for control over energy resources. This is a delicate time where several parties are trying to make the situation worse. Hopefully, an all-out war in the region can be avoided. But this situation should be laid at the feet of US imperialism.