For decades, the Middle East has always been a hotbed of tension and conflict, but in recent years, the region has seen a paradigm shift take place. As the world changes at a record rate, the Arab world is also changing, and Western leaders are left scratching their heads in confusion.
To understand the story, we need to first understand the characters. We are talking about Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria—three nations that have been at odds with each other for decades due to the Shia-Sunni divide and other factors.
2010s: A dark age for the Middle East
Over the last decade, the Arab world saw a massive uprising known as the Arab Spring, where existing Arab leaders like Gaddafi and Morsi were ousted and even killed due to the public uprising. However, there was one strong man who didn’t move an inch—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—and the Western leaders were baffled and angered.
Assad came out stronger than ever during the Arab Spring. And so, Western allies invaded Syria with full force and imposed sanctions that destroyed Syria entirely.
The Syrian economy was devastated by a combination of harsh economic sanctions and a brutal military invasion by Western powers. The conflict has led to the displacement of millions of people and a loss of over $400 billion in economic output, leaving the country in ruins.
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The changing times
However, Karma strikes back, and it feels like the West is now facing poetic justice. Ever since the Ukraine war started, the Western leadership of the USA has faced a significant downfall where no one is ready to listen to them anymore.
The US was denied oil by Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ as a whole, and Iran also denied getting back with the West with the JCPOA deal. And now, as everything is going against the USA, the biggest blow came two months ago.
Saudi Arabia and Iran signed a peace deal, which led to the restoration of relations. The Iranian embassy has reopened in Riyadh, and the Western world was left amused. Moreover, both nations are now also kindling ties with Syria openly.
On May 7, the Arab League welcomed back Syria’s government, ending a more than decade-long suspension and securing President Bashar al-Assad’s return to the Arab fold after years of isolation.
In November 2011, the body suspended Damascus over its crackdown on violent protests, which had begun earlier that year and spiraled into a war that has killed more than 500,000 people, displaced millions, and battered the country’s infrastructure and industry.
Moreover, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi also visited Damascus after decades of isolation by the Iranian leadership. So, the three big guns of the Middle East, the oil giants, are joining hands, and this is leaving the US angered and weeping.
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The US has expressed anger over Syria’s joining the Arab League. whereas it is also trying to claim that the big guns are about to declare war against the US. As per an allegedly leaked US document, Iran smuggled weapons into Syria using earthquake aid convoys.
Intelligence officials believe the weapons were destined for Iranian proxy groups in Syria, which have repeatedly attacked US military personnel stationed there as part of the anti-terror coalition.
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The Middle East is undergoing a massive shift, and the old guard is slowly but surely being replaced. Saudi Arabia and Iran, two nations that have been at odds for decades, have finally found a way to make peace.
Moreover, with Syria being welcomed back into the Arab League, the US is left out in the cold. Its attempts to impose its will on the region have failed, and it is now facing a significant defeat in the Middle East.
The decade-long attempt to control the Middle East has flopped, leaving it to lick its wounds and ponder where it all went wrong.
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