Terror in Tehran, Qatar Spat, and Race for Syria-Iraq Border: the Washington ‘Swamp’ Gives Green Light for Saudi Arabia’s Jihad Agenda
Friday June 9, 2017
This week’s attacks in Tehran, for which the Islamic State (ISIS) promptly claimed responsibility, are at this writing the latest incidents to roil the troubled waters in an increasingly turbulent “Broader Middle East.” They will not be the last.
The terror in Tehran comes as the threats from Saudi Arabia against Qatar on the surreal charge of supporting terrorism have reached a fever pitch. Observers openly discuss the possibility of a coup against the ruling Sheikh Tamim bin Hamаd al-Thani, or even a Saudi invasion. Regarding a possible regime change, Saudi media note that Tamim’s father, Hamаd, came to power in a coup against his father; coups are not rare in Qatari history, and there’s always another al-Thani brother, cousin, or nephew who could be installed as a suitable puppet for Riyadh.
As for an invasion, keep in mind that Qatar was a part of the first and second Saudi states (defunct in 1818 and 1891, respectively) and could end up that way again. Given depressed oil prices and Qatar’s massive natural gas reserves, the Saudis would welcome a quick and lucrative diversification of their portfolio. Qatar has placed its armed forces on the highest state of alert.
Meanwhile, in Syria, on June 6, US planes for the second time put in an airstrike on pro-government forces near the al-Tanf border crossing with Iraq, near Jordan. The stated purpose was to protect U.S.-supported “moderate” jihadists in a “de-confliction zone” unilaterally declared by Washington. The US also has reportedly established a presence at al-Zkuf, another border point to the north and east, with the obvious aim of blocking any link-up of Syrian and Iraqi forces fighting against ISIS.