The Middle East has seen tensions rise within the region in 2018. Just when tensions were at an all-time high, the Saudi Arabian dissident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in October. The finger has been pointed at Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Meanwhile, the vicious Yemeni Civil War between the Houthi militia and the Yemeni government has raged on through 2018. It appears to be a serious humanitarian crisis, with the death toll reported by the UN to be over 50,000. The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is on the side of the government, with a Saudi-led coalition backed by NATO. However Iran’s involvement in the conflict on the side of the Houthi militia, appears to have sparked paranoia in the minds of world leaders and, due to its close ties with Iran, Qatar has received sanctions from the US and the rest of the GCC.
Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, in declaration that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, sparked protests worldwide as well as deadly outbreaks of violence. The decision is disputed by the UN who believe that Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is illegal and many others who believe Israel’s governing of the region is unjust and oppressive of Palestinian citizens.
The events in the Middle East throughout 2018 have certainly shaped the landscape of the region and the issues have been present for decades with the rise of so-called Islamic State only worsening them. Serious questions need to be asked and attempts must be made to bring peace to what is a beautiful region of the world.