Middle East Map Carved up by Caliphates, Enclaves, and Fiefdoms

(BBC) Owen Bennet-Jones - The Middle East's longstanding borders created by foreign powers are slowly breaking down. The rise of ethnic sectarianism and of the Islamic State have led ethnic groups, such as the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, and religious-based terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State, to gain autonomy over patches of land throughout the Middle East. With the central governments in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya gradually losing power to non-state actors within their borders, many Western diplomats are worried whether this trend will spread to more stable countries such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Oil, a key Middle Eastern export, is a major concern for Western governments, so the increase in smuggling by non-government actors is a troubling trend. Although the Middle East's borders have been gradually shifting since the Sykes-Picot agreement in 1916 and the creation of Israel in 1948, Middle Eastern governments' loss of land and control to autonomous groups will most likely lead to turmoil throughout the region for years to come.

2015-06-04 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive