Jihadi groups’ strategic objectives amid political crisis in the Middle East Region

 The Middle East and the geopolitical and economic importance of this region

The Middle East, which is a geopolitical region of about 17 countries and eight islands, which the these countries included such as: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In addition, if the independence of North Cyprus gets international recognition, then North Cyprus will be the 18th country in the Middle East, and even now in some writings and research reports, North Cyprus is called the Middle East country. However, North Cyprus is still recognized by the United Nations as a part of the island of Cyprus. The largest country in the Middle East in terms of area is Saudi Arabia, and the most populous countries in the Middle East are Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

The eight islands of the Middle East are Arabia, Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, Egypt, Iran, Levant, Mesopotamia, and the Socotra Islands. Geopolitical and economic importance of the Middle East: The Middle East is a bridge between the three major continents because the Middle East is a connecting tissue between Europe, Africa and Asia. The Middle East has gained geopolitical importance by having some of the world’s most important trade routes, important canals such as the Suez Canal, the Turkish Straits, the Straits of Hormuz and the Straits of Gibraltar, and military strategic checkpoints.

The vast oil resources of the Middle East, strategic trade routes, Middle Eastern territory, and ideas have given strategic importance to the geography of the Middle East. Oil and petroleum are the most widely available resources in the Middle East and the economies of many Asian, European and Western countries rely on the oil reserves of the Middle East. The Middle East produces almost 31 percent of the world’s oil because five of the ten countries that produce the most oil in the world are located in the Middle East, and besides oil, the Middle East produces 41 percent of the world’s natural gas.

In addition to having vast and inexhaustible natural oil reserves, sea trade routes and canals play an important role in the economic importance of the Middle East, among which we can mention the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal, which is considered the main sea channel for carrying commercial goods between Europe and Asia, is located in Egypt in the Middle East region, and 12% of the world’s commercial goods pass through this route. Along with sea routes and canals, advanced technology products also play an important role in the economic importance of the Middle East. Israel, which produces some of the world’s best technology, has attracted huge investments from the world’s top tech companies such as: Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Google, smartphones, computers and other technical products that you use have their technology developed in Israel.

The Middle East is a connecting transit route, for centuries; people have traveled from the East to the West using the Middle East route, so this region has become one of the most important economic regions in the world.

Middle East strategic importance

The mid-east has strategic importance because it is located between Asia, Europe and Africa, such as the Suez Canal making it one of the most strategic and important transportation areas in the world, and we cannot forget about the oil deposits there, which supply the world with petroleum. The vast oil reserves in the Middle East, the maritime economic route and the location of the Middle East have been the reason why this region has been a victim of political crisis and competition between superpower countries for a long time.

Moreover, this region was a big controversial part of the world during the Cold War, because both the West and the Soviet Union were making extensive efforts to establish an alliance in the Middle East and for the loyalty of the countries. Now this region has become a conflict zone between the West, China and Russia because each of them, namely the Eastern Alliance led by Russia and the Western Alliance led by the United States, are competing to find influence in this region.

 There are many reasons for the long-term political crisis in the Middle East, some of which we can describe as below. Islam/Christianity/Judaism, Iran/Iraq conflict, Iran/Baha’i, Shia/Sunni conflict led by Iran and Saudi Arabia, North/South Yemen, Everyone/Kurds, Struggle to Create Kurdistan State, Syrian Revolution, Libyan Revolution, Israel/Palestine Conflict, Tunisian Revolution, Arabs/Berbers, North/South Sudan, Lebanese civil war, Water scarcity, racism against women, honor killings.

China’s Silk Road also plays a significant role in the Middle East crisis, because the Chinese Silk Road was a network of trade routes passing through the Middle East connecting China and the Far East with the Middle East and Europe. In order to destroy this road, destabilizing the Middle East was one of the main goals of the West to prevent China’s economic growth. These are all the reasons why the Middle East has been in turmoil since the 19th century, and these reasons allow the political crisis in the Middle East and the training of jihadist groups in this region with the support of the West. The political crisis in the Middle East started in two stages after and before the WWII.

Before World War II, the political crisis in the Middle East began with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Sykes-Picot conspiracy between the British and the French. To build the region completely without considering the local communities. The British actually divided and ruled the region with their traditional policy, betraying the Arabs who had helped the British defeat the Turks. Furthermore, with the Kurds who promised an independent country, but whom Churchill instead bombed and experimented with chemical weapons.

Undoubtedly, they opened Palestine for European Zionist colonization and supported the Wahhabi Saudi tribe against the intellectuals Hashemites in the Arab Civil War. The second phase began after WWII, when Americans became increasingly involved in the Middle East, In order to weaken China and Russia in the Middle East and overthrow the pro-Russian and pro-Chinese government in Asia under the control of China and Russia or sacrifice long-term civil wars. A good example is Afghanistan becoming a victim of the 40-year war, which the origin of jihadist ideas and jihadist groups started from the Gulf countries and the Middle East.

 In Afghanistan, America supported the Mujahideen against Soviet Union and a progressive government of Afghanistan that had given equal rights to women, and is still proud that it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Attempted a coup in Syria, thus forcing the nation into Moscow’s arms, and succeeded with a coup in Iran, where they overthrew their first democratic government. America then supported Iraq in a terrible war against Iran, in which hundreds of thousands of young people were killed by chemical weapons, and these weapons were largely provided by the West. The Americans then turned to Iraq when Saddam went silent and invaded openly, before the sanctions were lifted, causing the deaths of half a million children. Since 9/11, a dubious event to say the least, the US has invaded the entire Middle East under false pretenses, causing millions of deaths, untold suffering, tidal waves of refugees, ongoing civil strife and caused widespread terrorism.

The West adopted a policy of “divide and rule” regarding the Middle East

 The Middle East no longer sees peace and tranquility. Because America also supports the dictatorship and supports the apartheid regime in Israel, despite the ethnic cleansing of its own Palestinian population. In essence, America did to the region what the Nazis did to Europe and the British did to Africa.

In order to dominate the land oil reserves in the Middle East, to prevent the military and economic development of China and Russia in the Middle East, and to divide and destroy the large and strong government in the Middle East, the United States has deployed dozens of jihadist groups in the Middle East.  In order to destabilize the region through these groups and to financially support these groups, the Western alliance illegally seized the oil resources of the Middle East and trained more jihadist organizations in the Middle East with the income from those oil reserves.

There are more than 16 major jihadist organizations and more than 40 local jihadist armed groups in the Middle East

Jihadi groups, some of which are trained by Iran with the financial and military support of Russia and the Eastern Alliance such as: Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatimiun, the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Some jihadist groups are being supported by America in the Middle East with the support of the West. The most destructive group is the Islamic Dalit or ISIS group, which has been destabilizing the Middle East for years.

There are many armed and propagandist groups in the Middle East who are fighting to establish Dar al-Islam in the world, which is supported the majority of groups by the Western world.

1: Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, 2: Abdullah Azzam Brigades, 3: Hayat Tahrir Al-Shaam, 4: Maghweer al-Thura, 5: Al-Nusra Front, 6: Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, 7: Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, 8: Al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, 9: Harakat Sham al-Islam, 10: Ansar al-Din, 11: Front, Jund al-Aqsa 12: Egyptian Islamic Jihad, 13: Islamic State in Libya, 14: Islamic State – Yemen Province, 15: Hizb al-Tahrir, a propaganda group that is fighting to establish Dar al-Islam in the world, 16: Society of the Muslim Brothers, a propaganda group that is fighting to establish Dar al-Islam in the world.

These were the groups that have been active in their jihadist struggle in the Middle East for years, so that each group can reach its goals separately. However, some of these groups are inactive now, but they may start to act a second time, like the Maghaweer al-Thura group in Syria.

The struggle of a number of armed groups in the Middle East is to destabilize the Middle East and pave the way for the influence of America and the Western world in the region in order to prevent China and Russia.

Shafiullah Irfani
Shafiullah Irfani
Shafiullah Irfani is the Middle East and the global-south region analyst