MIDEAST MIRROR 29.04.15, SECTION B (THE ARAB WORLD)
1-A strategic threat
3-Camp David agendas
1-A strategic threat
Erdogan's Turkey is pursuing its colonial Ottoman project in Syria and advancing towards achieving it via public and qualitative steps, while the Iranians are steering clear of the scene, insisting on avoiding a clash with Ankara. This is a new lesson for Arab patriots to learn. No matter how principled states may be, they ultimately remain hostage to their own interests. Turkey after all is Iran’s major economic partner. Once the sanctions are lifted, it will become its first partner in joint investments and trade. Moreover, and more importantly, and in compliance with Iran’s request, the Turks have steered clear of joining the Saudi aggression on Yemen. And the ongoing conflict in and over Yemen may have the absolute priority for the Iranians today because of its potential for hemorrhaging Saudi Arabia, Tehran's number-one enemy in the region--Nahed Hattar in Lebanese al-Akhbar
The axis hostile to the Syrian regime has been in a state of 'ecstasy' ever since Operation Decisive Storm was launched against Yemen, and that was then crowned by the radical changes on the Syrian battlefield. As a result, it has given free rein to new visions and equations, dealing with them as if they have already been secured. Be that as it may, the rapid and unexpected developments in the Syrian north require the pro-Damascus axis to speed up the Qalamoun battle [along the Syrian/Lebanese borders]– unless this axis still holds some cards and unused capabilities to respond and restore the balance in other areas. This, in fact, is what the axis's sources in Beirut are saying, insisting that retreats and advances are inevitable in war, and that what really matters is the final outcome, especially in Yemen and Syria--Ibrahim Bayram in Lebanese an-Nahar
The strategic threat posed by the fall of Jisr ash-Shughour cannot stand without a response that matches the scale of the 'aspiration' that tickles the fancy of the alliance that supports these terrorists. For it is unlikely that there will be a long pause before shells and perhaps even an attempt at invasion will reach [the regime’s heartland] Latakia. Should that happen, it would mean a major setback is about to occur, and that a decision has been taken that should sound the alarm bells in the capitals of the 'axis' that backs Damascus. This axis cannot accept such a development, let alone the transformation of these aspirations – more accurately, illusions – into facts on the ground. In fact, the pro-Damascus axis will simply not allow this--Mohammad Kharroub in Jordanian al-Ra'i
Tehran’s silence regarding Turkey’s blatant military intervention in northern Syria may be cause for concern since it suggests that Iran is now focused on Yemen to the detriment of the struggle in Syria, warns a Jordanian commentator in a left-leaning Beirut daily. That would be a grave mistake and stab in the back to the Syrian army whose steadfastness alone has allowed Iran to achieve so many gains in recent years. In light of the Syrian regime’s setbacks in the north, it has become urgent for it and its allies to launch the battle of Qalamoun against Islamist opposition groups along the Lebanese borders, maintains a Lebanese commentator. It is already clear that this battle will have regional implications and will be more complex than may seem at first glance. The fall of Jisr ash-Shughour in Syria’s northwest to armed Syrian rebels may eventually lead to a regional war between the pro-opposition axis and the axis that backs the Syrian regime, warns a commentator in an Amman daily. The city's fall threatens the Syrian coast and the regime's survival, something that its regional supporters will never tolerate even if this were to undermine the imminent nuclear agreement between Tehran and Washington.
A TERRIBLE SILENCE: "Barely a day passes without some Iranian official issuing a heated denunciation of the Saudi aggression on Yemen," writes Nahed Hattar in Wednesday's left-leaning Beirut daily al-Akhbar.
Yet we hear nothing but a terrible Iranian silence towards the Turkish invasion of northern Syria. This silence, and its complicated motives that stem from the bilateral friendly relations between Tehran and Ankara, have provided a political margin of maneuver for Turkey’s open military and security action in Idlib, its countryside and Jisr ash-Shughour, in these difficult days that Syria has been living for more than a week.
Turkish intelligence is now working at three unprecedented levels:
- First, based on its new alliance with Saudi Arabia, Turkey has united the terrorist groups in the targeted areas, primarily under the Nusra Front, which is affiliated to al-Qa'ida. And the Nusra, as is well known, has been internationally classified as a terrorist organization. Yet it is receiving generous supplies of American TOW missiles that are highly effective against armored vehicles.
- Second, Turkey has brought in at least 5 to 7 thousand highly-trained fighters from groups that are directly linked to Turkish intelligence. These are made of Chechen terrorists and other terrorists from Central Asia, and have been deployed by the Turks to the battlefronts in an organized and concentrated flow.
- Third, Turkey is providing the attackers with intelligence and logistical support for their military operations that are being directed by Turkish, Saudi, Qatar, Emirati, Hamas, and other officers.
The Turkish invasion is clearly observable to the naked eye. Yet Tehran has not uttered a word about it. It also remained silent last year when the Turks carried out a similar invasion of the Kasab border area. Erdogan's Turkey is pursuing its colonial Ottoman project in Syria and advancing towards achieving it via public and qualitative steps, while the Iranians are steering clear of the scene, insisting on avoiding a clash with Ankara.
This is a new lesson for Arab patriots to learn. No matter how principled states may be, they ultimately remain hostage to their own interests. Turkey after all is Iran’s major economic partner. Once the sanctions are lifted, it will become its first partner in joint investments and trade. Moreover, and more importantly, and in compliance with Iran’s request, the Turks have steered clear of joining the Saudi aggression on Yemen. And the ongoing conflict in and over Yemen may have the absolute priority for the Iranians today because of its potential for hemorrhaging Saudi Arabia, Tehran's number-one enemy in the region.
We are not, of course, claiming that Iranian/Turkish collusion has facilitated the Turks' invasion of northern Syria. And we are still convinced, based on the evidence that Iran continues to provide military and economic aid to the Syrian state. (Let it be clear, however, most of this aid is based on financial considerations, including putting up [Syrian] government land and buildings as collateral for Iranian loans). But this not the issue. The issue stems from the fact that the Turks have secured an opportunity for a blatant intervention in Syria by exploiting the existing political vacuum. And they have made good use of their alliance with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as the tangible improvement in relations with Tehran and their expected future prospects. In particular, Turkey has steered clear of joining a 'Sunni' alliance hostile to Iran in the Middle East. But all this remains contingent on the two sides' interests, and the remaining period before the final signing of the Iranian nuclear deal.
We may also note that Iran has noticeably refrained from joining the political/media campaign stemming from the Turks’ denial of the genocide committed against one-and-a-half-million Armenians in 1915. Public Iranian policies have always stressed that Iran takes a principled stance in favor of those who have been unjustly treated. But the unjust treatment of the Armenian nation – the harshest in modern history – has not elicited any Iranian comment. This is a kind of double standard, exactly the same as Iran’s denunciation of Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas for backing the Saudi aggression on Yemen, while keeping totally silent in response to Hamas doing the same.
By contrast, Russia commemorated the Armenian genocide, and President Vladimir Putin took part in marking its hundredth anniversary. This led Turkish officials to issue provocative statements against Russia, going so far as to impertinently hint that Turkey could join the Western campaign against the Russians' return to the Crimea. And this threat has some measure of seriousness to it, compared to the [Turkish] call to settle scores with the Pope over the Spanish expulsion of Muslims and Jews from Andalusia [after his denunciation of the Armenian genocide].
Unlike Iran, Russia adopts a systematic and determined path in its political, economic, and defensive support for Syria. This is because Syria is a priority for the Russians who do not share the Iranians' enthusiasm for the events in Yemen and continue to pursue diplomatic efforts to find a political solution for the Syrian crisis; one whose features remain unclear.
The Syrian armed forces – which have proven their unprecedented capability and heroism over four years of a ferocious war – will not consider surrender or retreat as an option. And the Syrian leadership will not offer any concessions that violate Syria’s sovereignty and its political path under any form of pressure. But the Syrian army, whose steadfastness was primarily responsible for improving the terms under which Russia joined a multi-polar international order, and that has had the main and most important role in enabling Iran to expand its regional role and achieve a reasonable nuclear agreement that will lift the international sanctions on it-- this brave army is a noble horse that is dragging all of the resistance axis's carriages by itself.
"Do not leave this horse to labor alone!" concludes Hattar.
INEVITABLE BATTLE OR EMPTY TALK? "Is the battle of Qalamoun [along the Syrian/Lebanese borders] now inevitable, or is talk of it mere empty threats by members of the pro-Syrian axis?" asks Ibrahim Bayram in Wednesday's Lebanese daily an-Nahar.
So much has been said of this battle in political and media circles for months now that the matter has turned into a puzzle and source of confusion. This is especially so at the moment when the Qalamoun’s snows have all but melted, which means that the pretexts for postponing this promised battle have disappeared.
Over the past few days, there has been renewed talk that the zero-hour for attacking the Qalamoun has been specified, especially after reports that mobilization and logistical preparations have begun by those who have been trying to end the presence of over 3000 [Syrian Islamist opposition] fighters in this area for more than three years. But this has been accompanied by statements attributed to the armed groups that the threat of attacking this area is empty and no more than an attempt to exert pressure on them, adding that preparations have been made to deter the attackers and repulse them should they try to implement their threat.
Despite this climate that suggests that more fires will break out, there are still those who continue to question the seriousness of this battle, its true dimensions, possibilities, and its relationship to the recent storms in the region.
This battle, which remains no more than a possibility so far, is certain to have serious repercussions on the Lebanese situation. If it takes place, it will occur on Lebanon's borders, and specifically along the point of contact with the countryside of the Lebanese town of 'Irsal. This town is one of the strongholds of terrorism that has been in open and public confrontation with the Lebanese army.
At another level, a Lebanese party, namely, Hizbollah, will be one of the main participants in this battle. This is especially likely since it has revealed that it has had a significant military presence in these areas for some time for strategic and tactical considerations having to do with the situation in the northern and central Bika’a Valley, the western Bika’a and up to the Hasbayya/Marjayoun line in the south.
As is their wont, the concerned circles in Hizbollah have refrained from discussing the details of this battle or specifying the zero-hour for the order to attack. But the party's media has told the TV news stations to prepare to head to the northern Bika’a at any moment. This has given observers the impression that the battle is both imminent and inevitable. In fact, those in contact with the party have formed an impression based on two assumptions: First, that the outcome of the battle has already been decided; and, second, that preparation for it began a long time ago on the ground that it is an unavoidable follow-up to the confrontations that began in al-Qusair [in 2013] then stretched to the Qalamoun's other towns.
While this implicitly suggests that the promised battle has nothing to do with the latest developments on the ground in the Syrian north and the armed [opposition] groups’ advances there, it is clear that the Syrian regime and its allies are in dire need of an immediate achievement on the ground that would restore the balance of morale with the opposition on the one hand, and put an end to the rumors that the Syrian regime's enemies have moved on to a new and advanced phase whose aim is to take control of its strongholds along the Syrian coastline as a prelude to tightening the siege on Damascus and toppling the regime or driving it towards further confusion and loss, on the other.
The axis hostile to the Syrian regime has been in a state of 'ecstasy' ever since Operation Decisive Storm was launched against Yemen, and that was then crowned by the radical changes on the Syrian battlefield. As a result, it has given free rein to new visions and equations, dealing with them as if they have already been secured.
Be that as it may, the rapid and unexpected developments in the Syrian north require the pro-Damascus axis to speed up the Qalamoun battle – unless this axis still holds some cards and unused capabilities to respond and restore the balance in other areas. This, in fact, is what the axis's sources in Beirut are saying, insisting that retreats and advances are inevitable in war, and that what really matters is the final outcome, especially in Yemen and Syria.
One noteworthy development regarding the anticipated Qalamoun battle has to do with the reports of more than one Israeli air raid against Syrian army positions in this area in particular. It is also worth noting these reports come exclusively from parties that are hostile to the Syrian regime, since neither Damascus nor Israel have revealed the true nature of what has happened over the past few hours in a manner that ends all doubt.
If such Israeli air raids have really occurred, they would represent a new factor that will play a role in determining the situation on the ground in this area. Tel Aviv has routinely justified its air raids on Syria on the grounds that they aim to prevent the transfer of balance-breaking weapons to Hizbollah in Lebanon. Now, however, it seems clear that Israel is sending a message that its renewed intervention in the Syrian crisis via the Qalamoun gateway indicates that it remains a partner to the anarchy that has spread across the whole of Syria, and that it refuses any change in the status quo in the Qalamoun because it understands the strategic importance of this area for Damascus and Hizbollah.
In this sense, Israel is refusing any change in the rules of the game and the existing equations in both Syria and Lebanon. In addition, and via these air raids, Israel would be voluntarily assuming its position in acting with others on confronting the nuclear agreement between Iran and the West whose final ratification will occur soon.
But regardless of the accuracy of these conclusions, it is clear that the regional dimensions of the Qalamoun battle have begun to become clear even before the battle has begun. And this suggests that it will not be easy and that its consequences will be complicated.
"This is especially likely since the axis hostile to Damascus is behaving as if it is able to alter the reality on the ground," concludes Bayram.
STRANGE QUESTION: "Are we close to a regional war?" asks Mohammad Kharroub in the Jordanian daily al-Ra'i.
The question may seem strange now that we have overcome the hurdle of Operation Decisive Storm, if only to a limited extent. Even though it was announced that this operation has ended after achieving its aims (as the [Saudi-led] coalition's spokesman declared), it has continued at a lower tempo. And it is being accompanied by a media exchange whose vocabulary and idioms are crafted with 'caution,' in a manner that allows each side to respond but without straying beyond the media war into the arena of actual military confrontation.
Our question, however, stems from the calculated and pre-planned escalation on the Syrian fronts. This seems more akin to a risk-laden venture, rather than an attempt to improve the terms of negotiation or adjust the relative balance of power prior to heading to Moscow-III or Geneva-3 – or even to the consultative (Geneva) conference to which the UN Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura is preparing to invite all Syrian and regional parties (including Iran).
His aim is to pave the way for a new plan based on his proposal to 'freeze' the fighting in Aleppo – which was not implemented. That proposal was lost between the regional capitals' maneuvers, especially between the various armed groups whose aim was to foil the Syrian army's attempts to encircle the city and therefore proposed a 'ceasefire' in Aleppo and its countryside, something that Damascus rejected with the result that de Mistura and his plan were postponed.
It is no coincidence that Jisr ash-Shughour fell immediately after certain armed groups that have nothing in common other than their Turkish and partial Arab points of reference succeeded in taking control of Idlib. They achieved this after pouring into the city from the Turkish borders in an organized, pre-planned, and programmed manner, heavily-armed and benefitting from advanced and sophisticated logistical and intelligence and direct support from across the Turkish borders.
Reports suggest that they receive their orders from an operations room in the nearby city of Antioch in Iskandarun [Turkish Hatay] Province. And they operate under the temporary and provisional name of Jayshul Fateh [the Army of (Islamic) Conquest]. They are a mixture of armed elements and terrorist groups, and most are foreigners with a majority of Chechens and Gulf Arabs as evident form the images and videos they have posted themselves. They number more than twelve-thousand armed men – a figure no one armed faction or group has ever been able to deploy since the start of the current global war on Syria as a state, stance, people, and history.
Idlib fell under pressure from this large number of terrorists who wallowed in death, destruction, and devastation in the city. This was part of the alliance that backs these terrorists’ attempt to redraw the map in northern Syria after the plan to threaten the capital Damascus in the south failed – or was verging on failure – especially after Bosra ash-Sham and other villages near to the strategic triangle of Damascus's-countryside/Der'a/al-Qunaitra fell to the regime.
But the strategic threat posed by the fall of Jisr ash-Shughour cannot stand without a response that matches the scale of the 'aspiration' that tickles the fancy of the alliance that supports these terrorists. For it is unlikely that there will be a long pause before shells and perhaps even an attempt at invasion will reach [the regime’s heartland] Latakia. Should that happen, it would mean a major setback is about to occur, and that a decision has been taken that should sound the alarm bells in the capitals of the 'axis' that backs Damascus.
This axis cannot accept such a development, let alone the transformation of these aspirations – more accurately, illusions – into facts on the ground. In fact, the pro-Damascus axis will simply not allow this. It publicly threatened a regional war if Turkey were to intervene in northern Syria, especially after ISIS succeeded in entering 'Ain al-Arab (Kobani) and after Ankara began to mobilize its forces in a clear display of power after publicly welcoming ISIS at the border crossing near the town – even though this new 'neighbor's' [ISIS's] presence did not last long.
The armed gangs’ continued control of Jisr ash-Shughour means that we may slide towards a probable regional confrontation-- one that will become certain if these groups stand their ground before the Syrian air force’s attacks and the growing military mobilization that has begun to regain control and pursue the armed elements and expel them from Idlib and beyond. This is especially likely given that the Syrian army's supply lines to Aleppo, Hama, and the two cities' countryside will be threatened and may be completely cut off if the armed elements’ presence in Jisr ash-Shughour is consolidated.
And the situation will be even worse if these elements succeed in declaring an 'Islamic' Emirate of Idlib led by al-Qa'ida (or the Nusra Front, which Washington classifies as a terrorist group) with the participation of the [Saudi-supported] Islamic Front led by Zahran 'Alloush. The latter is now a dignified and honored guest of the Turkish government that seems to have adopted him as a freedom fighter on behalf of the Syrian people (!!).
"We will not need to wait too long before we know the course of the serious successive events in the Syrian north. This is especially likely given the failure of the wager of those who believe that Tehran (and Moscow) will not risk the Lausanne framework agreement and the imminent final agreement expected by the end of June, for the sake of the Syrian coast and Latakia, or even for the sake of the Syrian regime itself," concludes Kharroub.
Jordan needs to rethink its approach to border security the conflict in Syria and Iraq escalates, says 'Amer as-Sabaileh on pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com
Jordan needs to reconsider its previous approach based on steering clear of the fighting in Iraq and in Syria, urges a commentator in a pan-Arab online news site. With attacks on the Iraqi and the Syrian sides of the border crossings with Jordan, the old strategy of relying on Sunni clans inside Syria and Iraq to keep terrorist factions away from the country’s borders has collapsed.
IMMEDIATE THREATS: "Notable developments on two border fronts are leading Jordan towards the need to confront a series of immediate threats that may affect the country's borders and its domestic scene," writes 'Amer as-Sabaileh on the pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com.
Over the past years, Jordan has sought to prevent any terrorist threat or even direct confrontation from reaching its common borders with Syria or Iraq. Many theories have emerged to account for this approach, the most important of which (and that seems to dominate the mentality of Jordan’s decision-makers) calls for building a defensive line based on the so-called Sunni clans inside Iraq and Syria, arming them to confront ISIS in a manner that prevents that organization from reaching the Jordanian borders.
This Jordanian approach that was based on previous experiences in Iraq, is now facing threats and complications that are much greater than those of the past. This is in addition to the dangers implicit in the above approach, making it sometimes seem more akin to wishful thinking rather than a clear strategy that is capable of being implemented and whose results are assured.
Iraq’s political and security situation in addition to the map of Iraqi forces at this juncture, point to the real difficulties facing the implementation of the 'security buffer zone' theory. Moreover, the mere fact that ISIS suicide bombers reached the Turaibil [Iraqi/Jordanian] border crossing a couple of days ago, means that the planned security zone has already been breached, and that Jordan must be ready for various scenarios of direct confrontations along its borders in the coming phase.
As for the Syrian front, Jordan’s challenges emerged after the fall of the Nasib border crossing. Regardless of the faction that controls the Syrian side of the borders today, the fact that this area has now become a rallying point for terrorist cells and numerous organizations also confronts Jordan with daily challenges that are only likely to develop.
And this is to say nothing of the problems and dangers surrounding the notion of creating a security zone inside Syria. The Syrian situation may witness further direct escalation in the coming phase, which may force Jordan into a direct confrontation along its northern borders. This is especially likely since the scenario based on escalation in most Syrian cities and on all fronts is now clear. And this, in turn, means that the areas south of Damascus are likely to witness serious future escalations whose repercussions that will affect all points of Jordanian/Syrian contact.
The challenges facing Jordan are becoming more and more numerous. Preparing for a continuous escalation in Iraq and Syria means that it is now essential to seek effective alternatives so as to confront the growing security threats. This is especially necessary after the notion of establishing security zones inside Syria and Iraq has failed.
"All of which forces Jordan to think of different strategies that will serve the aim of steering clear of any direct confrontation along its borders, thereby preventing them from spilling over into Jordan itself," concludes Sabaileh.
3-Camp David agendas
The upcoming 2015 Camp David Gulf/U.S. summit will be an attempt to bring together two conflicting agendas, says today’s pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi
The Arab Gulf states' leaders are preparing to head to Washington and Camp David in a couple of weeks amidst a regional scene dominated by two major developments: The demise of Egyptian and Iraqi power, and the rise of Iranian power in their place, maintains the editorial in a pan-Arab daily. This confronts the Gulf states with major challenges that threaten their very survival.
IN THE ARABS’ MEMORY: "According to Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad, the Arab Gulf states' leaders will meet in Saudi Arabia next week to pave the way for their planned summit with U.S. President Barack Obama on May 13th in the White House, then at the Camp David retreat," writes the editorial in Wednesday's Qatari-owned, London-based, pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi.
That retreat’s name is linked in the Arabs' memory with the famous 1978 Camp David Accords between the late Egyptian president Anwar as-Sadat and then Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, sponsored by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.
The practical effect of that agreement was to suddenly sever Egypt from the Arab region and the Middle East, inaugurating the gradual retreat of its major role that had already begun with the 1967 defeat and the slow disappearance of the vast shadow cast by Jamal 'Abdel Nasser, his political influence that crossed borders, and the Arab nationalist ideology whose banner he had raised.
The second major earthquake that the region suffered was the Iranian Islamic Revolution, which occurred one year after the Camp David Accords. That flung the door open to the notion of an 'Islamic state,' and the ideologies of the Shiite and Sunni currents of political Islam. It indicated that the taboo on these forces' coming to power had been broken. That, in turn, led to a series of developments and dynamics, the horizontal and vertical fragmentation of whose widespread manifestations we are witnessing today: Shiite militias of various forms, names, and colors; armed and infighting salafi movements; tame salafi parties; and so on; in addition to the Muslim Brotherhood current. In the latter case, the Arab Spring revolutions and the mechanisms of democratic elections opened up the possibility that it may come to power in more than one Arab country.
These two major developments – the retreat of the Egyptian role along with the collapse of nationalist ideologies (which provided the intellectual and political cover that matched Egypt's political and economic weight at the time) and the rise of Iranian power in parallel with the rise of the Islamic state's ideology and the project of 'exporting revolution' across the borders, together effectively constituted the momentum that drove the new mechanisms of change in the Arab world.
The impact of the collision between the 'Islamic state' in its revolutionary Iranian version and the 'Arab order' and the nationalist ideology in its Iraqi Baathist version was enormous. The 'Arab order' may have been able to contain that collision, had it not been for Israel that was terrified of Iraq's power after the end of the [1980-88] war with Iran, and for the American neo-con current with its delusions that it was able to destroy and restructure the world in accordance with its wishes.
The deployment of unrestrained American power under George Bush Jr.'s leadership to remove Saddam Hussein's regime (with all its uncountable repressive practices) from the equation, effectively handed the Arab region over to Iran. As a result, Iran controlled Iraq and the Levant (Syria and Lebanon) in what was a major symbolic fall of the two historical centers of the Umayyad and 'Abbasid Sunni caliphates into Shiite hands. This was one of the reasons for the extensive Sunni reaction that turned into a lethal conflict that has destroyed the social fabric of the Arab East.
But the shift of Iranian imperial ambitions towards Yemen via the Houthis has threatened the Gulf states' stability after taking control of the Arab East. This has forced some of these states to redirect their political agenda and end their suppression of the Sunni currents of political Islam so as to devote their attention to confronting the Iranian onslaught that is threatening their borders from three sides.
This is the broad scene that provides the context for the agenda that the Arab Gulf states' leaders will discuss and whose details they will negotiate with the U.S. administration.
For its part, Obama's administration has its own priorities that have not changed. It deems the armed salafi currents such as al-Qa'ida and ISIS to be its primary enemy. And it is preparing for a new phase of political normalization with Iran, with the two sides dividing up aerial and ground operations in their common war against ISIS, its predecessors, and its sister organizations in Iraq and Syria.
In this context, the 2015 Camp David Gulf/U.S. meeting will be an attempt to bring together two conflicting agendas. The outcome, whatever it may be, will not cover up the huge abyss that opened up as a result of the ebb of the Egyptian and Iraqi power, and the rise of Iranian power. But it will be an expression of the Arab Gulf states' will to survive, which will confront these states with major challenges.
"Will they be able to overcome them?" asks the daily in conclusion.
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