2014's geopolitical calendar: Events that will change the Middle East this year
In 2013, the Middle East saw more action than perhaps the last scene of a Rambo movie.
Last year, fighting between Syrian rebels and Assad’s regime forces exploded and spiralled to a new level of violent chaos. Peace talks between the Israeli and the Palestinians were revived. Iran held historic negotiations with major Western powers. And with over 7,000 deaths, Iraq witnessed the worst levels of bloodshed since the country’s 2007 sectarian clashes. Continue reading below »
Now, all of this action (and more) has spilled over into 2014.
With Iran and Saudi Arabia stepping up their proxy war in Syria, can the new year hold out any prospects of peace for the country -- and for that matter, for the people of neighboring Lebanon as well? With Israel building settlements faster than you can say “illegal,” and with Palestinians fiercely drawing their red lines, are there any prospects of a lasting peace? What will happen in Tunisia and Egypt as the Arab Spring continues to play out? And, with Al Qaeda affiliated militants gaining greater control of Anbar province, will Iraqi forces be able to successfully strike back? Finally, with the war on terror becoming more of an ‘Arab’ issue than an American battle cry, as Lebanon came to learn at the close of last year, will the shattered Middle East be able to quash the scourge of Al Qaeda? Will the peace efforts of the international community ever pay off?
Perhaps such questions are enough to make a person’s head explode, but keep calm, and keep reading.
Short of answers or predictions, we’ve listed out the important Middle Eastern geopolitical events for the immediate future that you need to keep track of -- month by month.
Track this calendar. Follow the Middle East drama. And pray or meditate that peace may win.