Confused about what and who is going on in the Middle East?

Right now in the Middle East we have Arab Islamists killing Arab Islamists. I think that is the good news and plenty of reason for the US to stay out of it.

Just in case you are trying to keep score of what and who I tried to come up with a simple “executive summary.”

Middle East  2012

Click for hi-res. Map courtesy of the CIA.

Syria (Alawite, off-shoot of Shia) is in a civil war with rebels that are Sunni. Syria is backed by Iran (Shia). The rebels are backed by Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and other Sunni ruled Gulf countries.

Iraq (Sunni) is threatened from the inside by many Shia militias that are supported by Iran (Shia) and from the outside by ISIS (Sunni).

Yemen (Sunni) is threatened from within by the Houthis rebels (Shia). The rebels are backed by Iran (Shia) and that upsets Saudi Arabia (Sunni). Saudi Aribia and a coalition of Arab Sunni kingdoms is bombing the Houthis. This upsets Iran (Shia).

Shia . . . Syria, Iran*, Iraq’s militias, Yemin Houthis rebels.
Sunni . . .  Saudi Arabia, ISIS, Al-Qaida, Iraq, many other Gulf counties.

Of course in all the Middle East countries are Shiites (Shia) and Sunnis but for the most part the Sunnis are more numerous. Who’s in charge seems to be a matter of who has the most power.

*Iran is not an Arab country but is Persian.

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