Magazine

The battleground between Sunnis and Shiites

Iran, Saudi Arabia and neighbors have tremendous interest in fate of Assad regime.

Anti-gov't protesters near Saudi embassy, Bahrain.
Photo by: REUTERS
In a late 2011 article, I argued that Syria’s upheaval thrusts Turkey and Iran into a collision course because of their opposing geostrategic interests in Syria. Four months later, it has become increasingly clear that the Syrian uprising transcends Iran’s and Turkey’s strategic interests. It has become the epicenter of conflict between Sunni and Shiite communities throughout the Middle East.

The rift in Syria divides along a clear sectarian line: the Sunni axis led by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the Shiite axis led by Iran. The new political order that will emerge in Syria will determine not only the success or failure of Iran’s aspiration to become the region’s hegemon but also whether or not the Sunni Arab world will maintain its dominance. Hence, the conflict will be long, costly and bloody, reflecting the troubled history between the two sides that has extended over a millennium.



Read More...
   
Jpost.com, the online edition of the Jerusalem Post Newspaper - the most read and best-selling English-language newspaper in Israel. For analysis and opinion from Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East. Jpost.com offers expert and in-depth reporting from Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East, including diplomacy and defense, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Arab Spring, the Mideast peace process, politics in Israel, life in Jerusalem, Israel's international affairs, Iran and its nuclear program, Syria and the Syrian civil war, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel's world of business and finance, and Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora.

All rights reserved © The Jerusalem Post 1995 - 2014