Foremost among the consequences is a growing sense that the Saudis, along with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are now pursuing de facto normalization with Israel by means of closer security and political coordination to contain the growing Iranian threat. But while the Arabs have remained tight-lipped on the matter, the Israelis have been speaking about it publicly.
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Indeed, the Trump factor is giving hardliners an ideal platform to enforce the anti-American views they have championed for four decades. Even if the current tensions between the two countries do not result in military confrontation, the shifting political dynamics and social attitudes brought about by Trump are likely to have consequences for years to come.
Since the fall of Mosul in July 2017, the capture of Raqqa has become ‘priority number one’ for the US military, although top generals have refused to put a timeline on the campaign. It took Iraqi forces more than eight months to free Mosul. More worryingly, however, in April 2017 a senior counterterrorism official in the Trump administration admitted that the White House has no long-term plan once Raqqa is freed.
On 15 July 1840, Great Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia signed the London Convention. This granted Muhammad Ali and his descendants permanent control over Egypt if he withdrew his forces from all occupied areas in Syria, Adan, the holy cities in Hijaz and the island of Crete. However, Muhammad Ali refused to comply with the demands of the convention and found himself facing the European powers on his own in a short but brutal military campaign that left him soundly defeated.
Observers have described the relationship between China and the Middle East as politically ‘baggage free’. Since it became a net importer of oil in 1992 and subsequently the world’s largest importer of crude oil, China has been predominantly interested in securing long-term oil supplies and has avoided becoming entangled in the internal politics of the countries with which is does business.