- Syria: the bloodshed is raging on without break and unopposed. The
former state has disintegrated with no end in sight to the bloodshed. Shiite Iran and Hezbollah from Lebanon are backing the Alawite-Shiite regime of Bashar Assad. The Sunni rebels, including ISIS, are squabbling among themselves while trying to topple Assad. Russia has rushed in to prevent the toppling of Assad, while cashing in on its strategic presence by preserving its outlet to the Mediterranean as well as stationing air power in the region.
US military bases in the Middle East
- Egypt: threatened by ISIS in Sinai and radical Islam in Cairo. The al Sisi regime and Israel are cooperating on containing the ISIS threat after the Obama administration actually supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Muslim organization!
- Jordan: King Abdullah is keeping a wary eye on a ISIS threat from Iraq and possible dissension by the Palestinian majority within its borders. Abdullah will never admit it, but his most important ally is actually the Jewish state.
- Turkey: President Erdogan has reached out to Israel but insists on an Israeli lifting of the sea blockade on Gaza. There is no way Jerusalem will consent to more rockets being smuggled into Gaza for a Hamas attack in the future. Meanwhile, after aggravating relations with Russia’s Putin, Erdogan is facing a bold move by the Kurds who are seeking a chunk of Turkey, Syria and Iraq, to form their own independent state.
- Saudi Arabia: threatened by Iran and ISIS is quietly forging relations with Israel.
The Palestinian issue: President Abbas is seeking an imposed settlement that will give him more than negotiations with Netanyahu. This is the rather perilous panorama facing the Jewish state as it enters the new year of 2016.