The year 2023 ended with many persisting wars and conflicts around the world. People and analysts around the world see the prevailing genocide by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza shifting into a protracted conflict with an uncertain end. Israel’s massacre threatens the peace across the Middle Eastern region and imperils global trade. Many analysts and leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, warned the world that the flames of the Israel-Hamas war could engulf the whole Middle Eastern region. Israel has been committing the worst genocide in the history of mankind in Gaza since October 7, 2023. This sparked an outrage among the Muslims around the world. Most of the leaders of the Muslim world, particularly the Arab leaders, have made no serious efforts to assist the Palestinian people.
Moreover, people around the world have protested against Israel, urging their governments to support the Palestinian people. On the other hand, many Western countries are supporting Israel in its genocidal campaign in Gaza. The United States has even vetoed the UN resolution for a peaceful ceasefire in Gaza. Even the Israeli government has rejected the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), calling for immediate measures to prevent the genocide of the people living in Gaza. This has further fueled the anger among the pro-Palestinian people around the globe. People around the world feel that the international system has failed to protect the poor countries. This vacuum has been filled by different militant groups like Hezbollah and Ansar ALLAH. Most of these groups are backed by Iran. Houthis, Ansar ALLAH, have conducted different attacks on the ships, bound for Israel, passing through the Red Sea. They hold that they seek to pressure Israel to stop the ethnic cleansing of the people of Gaza. Several bases of the United States have also been attacked in the Middle East due to its support for Israel.
Consequently, the fire of the Israel-Hamas war has spread throughout the Middle East and beyond. Israel is conducting attacks in different neighboring countries to counter different militant groups supporting the Palestinians. The former is also conducting the targeted killing of Hamas leaders in different countries. Recently, Israel has Saleh Al-Arouri, a Hamas leader, in Beirut, Lebanon. In addition, the United States has also made a coalition of different countries to protect the ships passing through the Red Sea and to fight the Houthis in Yemen. Recently, almost 100 people have been killed in a blast on the death of General Qassim Soleimani in Iran. Iran has blamed Israel for this attack. All this has cemented the speculations that the Israel-Hamas War will engulf the whole region.
The United States, the UK, and many of their allies have conducted strikes on Houthis in Yemen. The latter warned of serious repercussions to the West in response to these attacks. Houthis from Yemen have refused to cease attacks on Israel-bound ships in the Red Sea. Israel also wants the United States to attack Iran. However, the United States does not want to indulge in a different conflict with Israel. However, there is a huge probability of a direct confrontation, sooner than later, between the two. On the other hand, Iran also seeks to avoid any direct confrontation with the United States and Israel. However, the recent blast on the death anniversary of General Qassim Soleimani has resulted in mounting domestic pressure on the Iranian government to attack Israel and its proxies.
Iran conducted missile strikes in its neighboring countries – Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan. These attacks by Iran were motivated by multiple reasons. Through these attacks, Iran sought to convey the impression that it would not tolerate any attack from Israel or its allies. Moreover, it wanted to demonstrate that it possessed the power to deal with its enemies effectively. Iran also wanted to decrease domestic pressure through these attacks. However, motivated by regional competitors of Pakistan, Iran also wanted to pose the latter as a facilitator of the allies of Israel in this war through these attacks. But the unexpected retaliation from Pakistan did huge damage to Iran’s reputation. It exposed different flaws in Iran’s air defense system.
Nonetheless, all these attacks by the United States, Israel, and Iran had a common impact on the region which is expanding the war to the whole Middle Eastern region and much beyond that. Although this war has not actually spread to different countries in the Middle East yet, it holds the prospects to grow in the whole region which could result in a huge catastrophe for the people living in these countries. Moreover, it will give a huge blow to the already fractured international system. The spread of this war beyond Palestine will also prove detrimental to the US hegemony. It will directly pose the global south against the global north. Given the sensitivity of this war, the United States, Iran, Israel, in particular, and the West, in general, need to take prudent measures to prevent it from spreading beyond Palestine. However, stopping the genocide of civilians is rudimentary for this.
Taut Bataut – is a researcher and writer that publishes on South Asian geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.