The war on Sunni Arabs

What we are witnessing in Iraq and Syria is not in the interest of Arabs or Sunnis. It is unfortunate that this is happening, and that we have to bring up this sectarian dimension of events, but this is what is happening. Iran is a rival, seeking to harm the Arabs and Sunnis. Russia, despite its different motives, is like Iran.

A major problem, and the source of the huge imbalance, is the administration of US President Barack Obama, which has destroyed stability in the Middle East. It is creating threats to the future of the Arab and Muslim worlds, even the entire world, and it is dragging Europe into this.

These threats will continue even after Obama’s term ends. He may become a political activist marketing Iran, as he did in his interview with The Atlantic.

Obama deludes some Europeans that the problem is only about fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the region. He aims to cancel any other political issue, including a political transition in Syria.

This made the Americans risk their relations with other countries, and NATO’s major ties with Turkey, following their alliance with what Ankara describes as Kurdish terrorist groups.

When the world let down the Syrian people in favor of Iran and Russia, ISIS emerged. What do you think will emerge from the womb of this new anger?

Mshari al-Thaydi


This aggression against Arabs and Sunnis is a reality. It is not just the opinion of Sunnis, but also of elite Arab writers who are not even angry Sunnis. I recently read two articles on the matter in Ash-Sharq al-Awsat and Al-Hayat dailies.

In the first, Eyad Abu Shakra – an expert on the Levant – wrote: “What’s before us is… an actual war on Sunni Arabs - a war that ends with a new map of the Middle East, and that will eventually reap what it has sown.”

The other article was by Lebanese journalist Hazem Saghiyeh, who wrote: “Those observing the situation cannot ignore the obvious givens. Between [Iranian General] Qassem Soleimani, the [Shiite] Popular Mobilization forces, which there are several attempts to disguise in Fallujah, and the central presence of Kurds in Menbej, Sunni Arabism is being subjected to a major massacre that may have drawn a path to what is described as new maps.”

When the world let down the Syrian people in favor of Iran and Russia, ISIS emerged. What do you think will emerge from the womb of this new anger?

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on June 6, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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