FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
Saudi Arabia is now outright accusing Iran of “acts of war”. The Crown Prince has the full backing of US President Donald Trump.
The reality is dawning that President Assad, propped up by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, is going nowhere.
Iran is deeply embedded in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It now has a land conduit through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon, meaning it can funnel arms and fighters to Hezbollah at will.
The growing military strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon is intolerable for Israel. It feels the time is coming to strike before being attacked.
Iraq’s position is uncertain. Will it lean to Iran, as many suspect, or will it be able to avoid choosing between being a Shia or Sunni nation?
Many feel Hezbollah, backed by Iran, has stronger military resources than the Lebanese army and effectively controls the country.
Russia controls Syria and President Assad survives at Vladimir Putin’s whim. It is doing business with Iran, with whom it has a shadow power-sharing arrangement in Syria. Mr Putin (pictured) might like Mr Trump, but despises Western influence.
A quiet but key fighter against ISIS, Jordan is on the same page as Saudi Arabia and the US on Iran.