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WASHINGTON – Sectarian violence between Shi’ites and Sunnis has picked up dramatically in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. troops last December, and represents the latest proxy war between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The other proxy wars under way between the two separate forms of Islam are occurring in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. There’s even some spillover effect occurring in Lebanon and it is emerging in the Saudi kingdom itself.
Iraq is the latest in violence between the sectarian rivals. Last month was regarded as the highest level of violence in two years in Iraq, with the death toll reaching 325 people and injuries approaching 700 people.
July 23 appeared to be the worst day of violence in what was described as a wave of coordinated bombings across the country killing 103 people.
Analysts say that the increase in sectarian violence largely is being undertaken by Sunni insurgents, who are getting support from Salafists and al-Qaida cells.
The continuous violence by the Sunnis appears to be having an impact on the Shi’ite-led and Iranian-backed government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
It recently led to Iraq closing the border with Syria in the hope of limiting the movement of arms and personnel to assist the Salafists, who not only are assisting them in Iraq but using the country as a staging area to support the Sunni opposition against the Shi’ite Alawite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Saudi Arabia and indeed all of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates, see Iran as a growing threat in spreading its Shi’ite influence among them.
This especially has been the case in Bahrain in which the Sunni monarchy is openly battling a population which is predominantly Shi’ite.
It has been of such concern to the Saudis that they along with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar recently sent troops into Bahrain to assist the monarchy in battling the demonstrators.
Bahrain is situated between Iran and Saudi Arabia and isn’t far from the Saudi Kingdom’s eastern province, which also is predominantly Shi’ite and happens to be where its oil production takes place.
Because of its concern, regional analysts say Bahrain and Saudi Arabia now are talking about forming a union which undoubtedly will cause concern with Tehran which has staked a claim on some of the islands that make up the Parthians and the country of Bahrain.
Historically, Bahrain was part of the Persian Empire from the 6th century B.C. to the 3rd century B.C.
From the 3rd century B.C. to the advent of Islam in the 7th century A.D., Bahrain was under the control of two other Iranian dynasties, the Sassanids and. the Parthians which established garrisons along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf.
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