The crisis in the Persian Gulf and Russia’s interests

Foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel does not exclude the possibility that the controversy surrounding Qatar in the Persian Gulf escalate into war. The German Minister did not say anything specific about the magnitude of the expected war, but the Russian site “Газета.Ru” published article, according to which a regional conflict could end in a third world war. As noted in the article, this crisis serves as another reminder to Russia that the war in Syria is not a separate “episode” in the international arena, as part of a wider international conflict.

The authors suggest that the simultaneous rupture of diplomatic relations with Qatar ten Sunni States of the Middle East provoked “a major diplomatic crisis in the region at least since the beginning of this century.” This dramatically increases the risk of turning the Middle East into the center of a new war is not so much a regional but on a global scale. A similar situation was during the conflict in the Donbass, when it has reached the acute stage.

Such a diplomatic conflict between the Sunni States have occurred in the past, but the situation is not escalated to such an extent. At the moment the Muslim world is immersed in many of the armed conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and with some reservations, in Libya. The interests of the participants of the new diplomatic conflict have been affected in these conflicts. In addition, the parties announced to the Qatar economic blockade, while Saudi Arabia is the only country with which Qatar shares a land border through which are the food supply in the country. In addition, we should not forget that Qatar is one of the most influential players in the region thanks to the channel “al Jazeera”.

As for Russia, it is directly involved in the conflict. Right after the Arab States broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. At the same time, the Emir refused to go to the United States, citing a reluctance to leave the country, while it does not lift the blockade, but sent the Minister of foreign Affairs in Moscow. Thus, from the outset, Russia has participated in the process of diplomatic consultations in Qatar, in addition to the traditional Syrian issue.

Until the time of the Russian citizens perceived the war in Syria as something distant and unfamiliar, but in the Russian media have penetrated only some sad news about victims of the Russian military, or stories about the successes of the Syrian army and concerts in Palmyra. Even after the terrorist acts in the Russian plane to Egypt, as well as at the metro station in St. Petersburg, the Russians did not consider Russia’s participation in the Syrian conflict as a threat to national security. Still the majority of Russian citizens do not know that the war in Syria is only a small part of a long and difficult battle for dominance in the Muslim world, and that thanks to his intervention in Syria, Moscow has become one of the parties involved in this battle.


© AP Photo Vahid SalemiУлица the Islamic revolution in Tehran

At the same time, it should be noted that Russia’s allies in Syria are Shiite Iran and it is close the Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad — the enemy of Sunni States of the Persian Gulf. One of the reasons that these States broke off relations with Qatar are suspicions that the latter secretly maintains a relationship with Iran. Terrorist acts that took place in Iran on June 7, indicates the extreme seriousness of the situation. As for Russia, the concern is with the fact that the majority of Russian Muslims are Sunnis and against the Sunnis are fighting the Russian military on the side of Assad.

A few days ago, the leaders of ISIS (banned in Russia — approx. ed.) has warned its supporters in Western countries about the danger of being in public places. Russia is among the countries referred to in this warning. We all have to treat these statements as LIH willingly assumes responsibility for any terrorist act, an offence committed under extremist slogans.

In that case, if the Russian side will attempt to form a coalition in the middle East, including Qatar, Iran and Turkey, it is very likely that the calls for Jihad in Russia will be heard more often. You know, Russian officials that those involved in the conflict, the meaning of the phrase “winning the war in Syria” is becoming less clear?

Even if Assad manages to maintain its power in Syria, it will guarantee Russia’s security. Victory over ISIS is real, but it will lead to an explosion of terror in other parts of the world. Most likely will be that the Islamist terrorist group will move to the tactic of “point of terror”, and the extremists from the former Soviet Union to return home.

Syria is just one of the many theaters of hostilities in the great war between Muslims. Russia takes part in this war because he wants to be back among the great powers and eliminate the negative consequences after the events in Ukraine. However, the conflict in the middle East are much deeper crisis around the Donbass and has a long history.

At the same time, the crisis over Qatar gives Russia another opportunity to put an end to an extremely dangerous confrontation with the West and part of the Muslim world. All countries who strive to play the role of leading international players to stop dividing terrorists into friends and foes. Thus, it is safe to say that the middle East will remain in the midst of conflict, threatening to turn into a real third world war, up until the great powers would never stop using extremists in their geopolitical interests.