Five separate sets of potential fireworks have been igniting simultaneously in the Middle East for the last few weeks, each of them adding fuel to the fires caused by the others. If and when these developments reach the kindling point, the entire region may go up in uncontrollable flames.
These are the sources of the fires:
a. the rivalry between Al Qaeda and ISIS
b. the intensifying struggle between the Sunni Jabhat al Nusra and the Shiite Hezbollah.
c. the successes of the Houthis in Yemen
d. Islamic fury at what is happening in Egypt
e. the struggle between Islamic extremists and European regimes
Here are the details:
a. In the militant Sunni arena there is a fierce struggle going on between organizations that identify with Al Qaeda’s ideology, headed by Jabhat al Nusra – and ISIS, which is in control over large swathes of Syria and Iraq and has established the most stringent form of Sharia law in those areas. The rivalry has caused Al Qaeda to increase its attacks on the Yemeni government, abort an American attempt to rescue two hostages from Yemen last December, accept responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris and announce that the brothers who perpetrate the murders received their training in an Al Qaeda camp in Yemen.
b. The war between the Shiite Assad regime and Hezbollah on the one hand and Sunni Jabhat al Nusra on the other is getting more fierce. Jabhat al Nusra managed to cause Hezbollah painful losses recently, near the Hermon Mountain range and in a daring infiltration into the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, by way of the city of Arsal. Hezbollah is feeling pressured, leading the Iranian revolutionary guards to send some top officers to help the organization plan its next operation and improve its results.
c. In Yemen, the Shiite Houthi militias have succeeded in taking over the capital city of Sana’a and appear as the winning side in the long, drawn out war the Houthis have been waging against that nation. Iran is backing the Houthis, the US is helping the regime, both against al Qaeda and the Houthis. Without doubt, Yemen is a battlefield where Iran is forcing its enemies to follow its agenda, including nearby Saudi Arabia, which sees the Houthis as a direct threat to its security. Several years ago, the Saudis built a separation fence all along their border with Yemen, in an attempt to keep out Al Qaeda and Houthi militants.
d. There is a fierce struggle in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood – the mother of all Sunni Jihad organizations – and the regime of Al Sisi. As far as this struggle goes, Sisi is reinstating the government of Gamal abdel Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak, all of whom waged relentless and bloody war against the “Brothers”. As of now, Sisi has succeeded in pushing the “Brothers” from positions of rule into jail cells and from the streets to the cemetery. His successes are infuriating his detractors. The fight is to the finish, and it is also being waged in the Sinai Desert between the government and the militias of Anṣār Bayt al-Maqdis, who recently switched its loyalties from al Qaeda to ISIS.
Europe is a relatively new battleground, but the last few weeks showed mounting escalation, both in jihadist activities against governments (see France) and in governmental activity against jihad cells (Belgium, Germany). Jihad activities in Europe are encouraged by ISIS as well as Al Qaeda, both sides of the rivalry mentioned above. People who return from Jihad in Syria, Iraq and Libya – but not just they – are participating in the heated struggle for Europe’s image.
These struggles are synergistic; they influence one another because an Islamic militant sees what is happening in one area and decides to take revenge for Allah in another. This sinking into chaos can lead to large number of large scale conflicts, with many more participants and deaths, especially if these organizations succeed in drawing Israel and the US into the fray. We have already heard of ground troops from the West fighting ISIS.
Israel must understand the dangers now permeating the atmosphere of the Middle East with oil vapors that any spark can set on fire and that no one will be able to put out before the entire region is ablaze. The potential for destruction posed by all these disputes is enormous, and the explosion may shake Europe and even cross the Atlantic when Islamic extremists see a deep crisis affecting the entire Middle East.
The massive Islamic immigration to Europe turned that continent into a branch of the Middle East’s disputes, so that Europe will not be immune to the many deep seated and broad Middle Eastern problems. Middle East disasters will certainly find their way to American shores as well.
[by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, writing for Israel National News]
NORM ‘n’ AL Note: Please permit us to point out, again, that the true cause of conflict in the Middle East is one of good against evil. This does not in any way minimize the conflict or its potential for disaster. However, when the evil side, those willing to kill anyone who opposes it — the side of Islam — is also willing to kill those in its own ranks who are showing opposition, then you know that it will not endure. The Bible is very clear: There is one true God, who is not only a God of love, but a God who PROVED His love for mankind by sending His Son as Savior to this lost and dying world. In addition, the Bible says “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” When the Islamic radicals start killing each other, that should indicate the truth of this statement. The side of good in the Middle East, represented by Israel and its friends around the world, wishes nothing but peace for all people, especially its own citizens. Now ask yourself, again, which God you personally would like to spend eternity with, the God who says “I love you enough to give you the life of My Son, the Savior,” or the false god who says “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Please do not make the mistake of thinking that Islam offers anything but lies, deception, and evil intent. It does not. Islam is little more than one of the devil’s best attempts to turn people away from the true God.
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis