A new coalition against terrorism, or the next unsuccessful attempt?

Скриншот 2015-12-19 13.07.44

click for original version (BBC)

“Our main goal is not only to give a fight against ISIS but also to abolish terrorism that became a common disease of Islamic world” stated defense minister of Saudi Kingdom prince Muhammad ibn Salman.

Last week Saudi Arabia declared about its new plan to from an Islamic coalition that consists 34 countries to confront Islamic extremism in the Middle East. According to sources the headquarters of coalition will be placed in Ar – Riyadh. The worsening situation in Arabian Peninsula threatens the national security of Saudi Kingdom more in the light of Yemen conflict. The war that had been launched by King Salman and his son Muhammad despite all expectations is still proceeding amid political and humanitarian chaos in the Middle East.

Islamic coalition is expected to be a new muscular form of resistance against terrorism even if at the risk of wading deeper into new sectarian conflicts. Yemen which was the poorest country of the Arab world before the conflict now totally suffers from humanitarian tragedy, ruined cities and infrastructure. Unofficially more than 10.000 people had been killed or injured in Yemeni conflict. A part of the ISIS problem, Al – Qaeda affiliated terror organization in Yemen seized the southern province Abjan and its center Mukalla, declaring the rue of new “Caliphate” here. But the problem is that terrorist group is now able easily to control strategic city Aden through Abjan province, which would be a crucial strike for Saudis in the Gulf.

Ineffective military strategy of Saudi Kingdom is a source concern for Gulf monarchs as well as for the Western counterparts, who claims that not so much efforts have been done to impede extremism. Even the main weapon supplier of Yemeni conflict – U.S now avoids active participation in the conflict and therefore pushed the government and opposition forces to meet up in Switzerland for a short time ceasefire agreement. The U.S is worried much about passive participation of Gulf countries in military operation in Syria and Iraq against the ISIS, rather than their passiveness in Yemen.

Still it is unclear what the Kingdom is going to do really and for what it asking the coalition member countries to do – logistic support or a new military operation. The coalition idea evoked a dozens of criticism from the U.S and European politicians that Saudi Kingdom has not done enough in Syria and Iraq against the ISIS, while 90% of air strikes had been carried out by U.S, France and Germany.

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel stated during press conference that Saudi Kingdom ruins the Middle East by promoting and supporting extremist organizations.  The new coalition consists mainly Sunni countries, while Shia dominant Iran is absent from the list. Such a strange decision underlines Sunni Shia confrontation in the region very well, as Iran along with Russia and Hezbollah supports Assad regime in Syria.

The destiny of new coalition is remained suspicious because of some controversial memberships. For instance membership of Libya, the country which in fact split into several parts following the civil war. Now there are two governments in one state. One of them supported by Turkey and Qatar, the other one by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. So it is very arguable that what is the capability and ability of Libya to resist against Islamic extremists. There are only three countries in the coalition with strong armies – Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt. The membership all of them underlines the necessity of ground operations against ISIS.