- Russian airstrikes have targeted areas controlled by various opposition factions on the borders of government-held territory in Latakia and Hama but they have focused far less on their stated target of the Islamic State. This coincides with Hizbullah media on 12 October claiming an increase in ground forces being supplied by Iran to support the Syrian government.
- Russia and Iran are jointly expanding their role in Syria and Iraq against the proxies of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, in order to preserve the allied governments in Baghdad and Damascus.
- Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in effect being offered influence in areas of Syria and Iraq that are not strategically important, reducing the likelihood that they would acquiesce to an agreement that is in line with Russia and Iran’s interests. Continue reading →
How Iran is taking control of the Middle East
Under the magnanimous rule of Cyrus the Great, the Persian Empire extended from the foothills of the Himalayas to the banks of the Nile River. It was a vast conglomeration of peoples, creeds, religions and languages tied together in large part by the governing policies of King Cyrus. Cyrus believed that the empire would remain stable if its subjects were allowed to keep their own customs while still paying homage to Persia.
Today, Iran—the progeny of that dynasty—is once more vying to carve out an empire. But this kingdom is being forged and expanded in ways that bear little similarity to ancient Persia. The rising empire relies on fear, extortion, intimidation and bloodshed—conversion by the sword. The advancement of its banner across the Middle East threatens the permanency of those nations that lie in the warpath, and also threatens to plunge the international community into deeper conflict.