The Military Islamic Front
The developments in the Middle East and Russia’s step up into the Syrian crises have made Arab and some Islamic countries consider forming a military front rather than a political one for fighting ISIS and other radical groups. The issues are related to Iran’s position and its policy of extension and Russia’s stance towards the Syrian crises. Instead of reassuring the Sunni and Arab world, these countries have adapted the discourse of pressure and conflict policy, deepening the differences and concerns among the Arab (especially Gulf) countries. This is what made Saudi Arabia appear as a new political and military leader in the area.
Saudi Arabia used military force directly after Hauothis actions in Yemen. Through the operation, the military capacity—supported by the latest military technology—of Saudi was tested for the first time. Saudi is using the military weaponry that has been saving in the last century. There’s a common target for Saudi, Gulf countries, Turkey and Egypt that’s from being accused of turning a blind eye to ISIS terrorist groups and putting a limit to the extension of Russia and Iran.
Information indicates that Qatar is exchanging the Lebanese prisoners with the Syrian radical groups easily. The finger of accusation is pointed to Saudi for providing financial sources to the Islamist groups. Egypt is the center of emerging political Islamism, from the moderate to the radical. Turkey is also doubted concerning its relations with ISIS. However, during the last two months, the political and military tendencies are changing, a change that will turn all the opinions, doubts and interpretations upside down.
Saudi is creating an Islamic front of fighting ISIS because Russia and Iran are working in accordance to their interests and never consider the interests of other countries of the area. After downing the Russian warplane, Turkey is directly involved in the front of Sunni Muslims and will intervene in Iraq to help the moderate Sunni Arabs in Mosul. Egypt also is under the threat of radical Islamists and Libya is already in a security and political turmoil.
The new Saudi-led Military Islamic front aims first at limiting the extension of the four-country coalition of ‘Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq’, then at reducing the pressure of ISIS and radical Islamist groups. They say there would be boots on the ground if needed. These countries find themselves in front of two direct threats: Russian intervention into the crisis and using ISIS and its brutal actions as a pretext for striking Islamic Sunni Arabs and close friends of Saudi, Turkey and USA.
The US-led coalition of the fight against ISIS, the four countries’ coalition and the Saudi-led Military Islamic Front will shift the Middle East into a new era of conflict and resolutions.
What will be the position of the Kurdistan Region among all these coalitions? The Kurdish Region has official ties with US and Turkey and Saudi has also felt the significance of Region’s as well. Therefore relations with the Kurdistan Region are at high diplomatic, military and economic levels. While the Kurdistan Region does not stand against Russia and Iran, neither have either countries been a source of stability or economical and political development in Kurdistan. Through there is difference of opinion and attitude towards among the Kurds regarding the situation, we cannot say that Kurdistan is divided on the issue. For instance, those parties whose strongholds are close to Iranian borders in Suleimany Province are concerned about the Turkish force’s deployment near Mosul while a Peshmerge training center by Turkish military advisors is located in Qalacholan in Suleimany Province. This attitude seems to be influenced by Iran and Shiite rule in Baghdad and the relations seem to be slightly undercover. The other party, whose stronghold is close to Turkey, has official ties with government and official institutes with Turkey.
What stance is the Kurds, who currently have a strong military, political and diplomatic position, expected to take? The developments are directly related to Kurdistan, so it shouldn’t be treated as a light matter. The decision may be difficult, but Kurdish leadership and President Barzani himself have the ability to keep the balance of power and make the right decision for determining the future of Kurdistan Region.