In the latest update from Beirut based Conflicts Forum, the changes in allegiances and power following the fall of Morsi and the Brotherhood in Egypt are explained, and reasonably described as ‘tectonic shifts’ – :–-19-july-2013/

While this analysis focusses on Egypt, the effects on the wider region of the West’s partisanship – towards Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Egyptian military, are the real consequence. Just at a time when Syria and Iran are regaining stature and legitimacy in the region, the West and its allies are staking out the ground against them even more forcefully. Not only has the US acted on its threat to arm the ‘rebels’ ( despite the multiple reports that those rebels still fighting are ALL allied to Islamist fundamentalist and Al Qaeda groups), but Israel has as usual taken the law into its own hands. An attack on a storage base for Russian anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles in Lattakia on July 5th, attributed to Israel but unacknowledged, has  now been demonstrated as their work, after they complained to the Pentagon about the leaking of the news:

The significance of this strike however, is far greater – it was the result of a cruise missile fired from an Israeli sub in the Mediterranean, rather than ‘the usual’ air strike. This also raises the possibility that the huge explosion that rocked Damascus a month earlier was caused by a similar cruise missile. Israeli submarines apparently carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads for their missiles, and there have been some suggestions that this ‘shock and awe’ strike was such a weapon. Although it was allegedly targeted at ‘Iranian missiles heading for Hezbollah’, a justification accepted by complicit Western leaders, most non-aligned powers considered it an act of war. Russia’s response was noteworthy – Netanyahu had a severe dressing down from Putin, and a warning of consequences should Israel try something similar again.

Given the key role played by Qatar in fomenting and supporting the Syrian insurgency, one might expect that the fall from grace of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as its key exponents the Emir of Qatar and his Sheik Qaradawi, would have dulled the Syrian Opposition’s campaign for regime change; far from it – with the installation of a Saudi affiliated ‘president’ in the SNC, and the hasty appearance of him in Washington, the campaign for Syria and then Iran has been reinvigorated; conveniently the EU has played its part by declaring Hezbollah a terrorist organisation, so that Israel can work seamlessly with the allies.  The Russian anti-ship missiles it was so keen to destroy were not of course destined for Hezbollah as Israel implausibly claimed – the danger was that they could be used against US ships supplying arms to the insurgency.

Sometimes it seems that WW3 may have already started, but the news hasn’t reached us yet…