If you want to see the front line of the war between Sunni and Shia today, look no further than Syria, which has become a place where it’s getting increasingly difficult to find middle ground. In most cases, you’re either with the Iranian-backed Assad regime or with the Muslim Brotherhood-backed rebels. Allegorically, it’s a very significant dog fight; the Brotherhood is on the rise all over the Middle East and Iran cannot afford to lose Syria. If it does, the Sunnis will have secured a major advantage. Such a scenario would ultimately benefit Turkey while weakening Iran’s leverage relative to its alliance with that country.
While the saying, “let sleeping dogs lie,” is often a good rule of thumb, so too is it a good idea not to get into the middle of a dog fight. That appears to be what Saudi Arabia is doing.
Via the Jerusalem Post:
Saudi Arabia is arming Syrian rebels locked in a year-long rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, a senior Arab diplomat told AFP Saturday.
Calling the shipments an effort to stop the bloodshed in Syria, the diplomat clarified that “Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the Free Syrian Army,” according to the report.
Conversely, according to the Post, the United States is putting pressure on Iraq not to allow weapons from Iran to enter Syria via Iraqi air space:
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a press briefing that the US was “making the point that any export of arms or related materials from Iran, frankly, to any destination would be a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1747.”
Any arms sent to the President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, she continued, “would obviously be used in the brutal repression that the regime is exacting on its own people.”
If there is a country Iran’s mullahs despise more than Israel, it might just be Saudi Arabia; these developments can only serve to exacerbate that reality.