Here’s What The Next Big Middle East War Will Look Like

Thursday, December 7, 2017
By Paul Martin

by South Front
Dec 7, 2017

On Wednesday Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed during the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference that Israel has to “act now against Iran” in order to stop the Iranians from “establishing themselves in Syria,” according to the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post.

During the conference, the Israeli prime minister argued that world leaders should join Israel and the US in pressuring Iran to accept renegotiating the 2015 nuclear deal. Netanyahu even warned that Iran will have nuclear weapons “in a decade” once the nuclear deal is over. Netanyahu also accused Iran of supporting “terrorist organizations” as usual, and said that Lebanese Hezbollah, and Palestinian Hamas would “not last a day without Iran,” according to Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu’s statements are clearly aimed at justifying the recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Israeli media claimed that the airstrikes destroyed an Iranian military base, and a missile shipment; however, these claims were not backed by any evidence. The statements also serve the current policy of Israel, which is aimed at holding Iran responsible for all crises in the Middle East – a policy which is coordinated with some Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, according to many experts.

Due to these rising tensions and the past months of escalating events in various corners of the Middle East, it increasingly looks as if the world is on the brink of witnessing a new conflict over Lebanon. While the chances for escalation are high, the essential pre-conditions for a new, large-scale war in the region are still in the works.

To review, on November 22, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri temporarily suspended his resignation following a request by the country’s president Michel Aoun to reconsider the decision. Hariri originally announced his resignation in a televised speech from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on November 4 – an event which sparked a new round of tensions between Saudi Arabia on one end and Lebanon with Hezbollah on the other.

Saudi Arabia accused Lebanon of “declaring war” on Riyadh by allowing Hezbollah “aggression” against the kingdom. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Tehran of delivering missiles to Yemen’s Houthi forces for use against the kingdom, an act he described as “direct military aggression”.

And on November 19, an emergency meeting of the Arab League was held between Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, calling for a united front, to counter Iran and Hezbollah. In a declaration issued after the meeting, the Arab League accused Hezbollah of “supporting terrorism and extremist groups in Arab countries, with advanced weapons and ballistic missiles.” In turn, the Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah said that Hariri was held captive in Saudi Arabia because he had not returned to Lebanon as he promised. On November 22, Hariri arrived at the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and suspended his resignation. This marked a new phase of the political standoff between the sides.

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