The $18bn arms race helping to fuel Middle East conflict
Security experts express fears for region’s stability amid record weapons sales from west and Russia’s missile deal with Iran
Saudi army artillery fires shells towards Houthi positions from the Saudi border with Yemen. Photograph: Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters
Friday 24 April 2015 00.00 BST
The Middle East is plunging deeper into an arms race, with an estimated $18bn expected to be spent on weapons this year, a development that experts warn is fuelling serious tension and conflict in the region.
How arms imports are destabilising the Middle East
Given the unprecedented levels of weapons sales by the west (including the US, Canada and the UK) to the mainly Sunni Gulf states, Vladimir Putin’s decision last week to allow thecontroversial delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran – voluntarily blocked by Russia since 2010 – seems likely to further accelerate the proliferation.
That will see agreed arms sales to the top five purchasers in the region - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt and Iraq – surge this year to more than $18bn, up from $12bn last year. Among the systems being purchased are jet fighters, missiles, armoured vehicles, drones and helicopters.
The Russian declaration came only two days before Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, disclosed he was seeking arms worth billions of dollars from Washington – with payment deferred – for the battle against Islamic State (Isis).
Last week France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, disclosed progress in talks to sell Rafale fighter jets to the UAE, one of the Middle East’s biggest and most aggressive arms buyers.
States in the Middle East are now more prepared to use the weapons they are buying
With conflicts raging in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, and with Egypt also battling Islamist extremists in the Sinai, the signs that Russia is preparing to increase its own arms sales – and to the Gulf states’ biggest rival, Iran – are raising fears that tensions will be stoked further still.
In particular Saudi Arabia and Iran are facing off in the conflict in Yemen where, despite the announcement by Riyadh on Tuesday that it had halted its month-long bombing campaign, jets continued to strike Houthi rebel positions close to the capital Sanaa, around the third city Taez, and in the central town of Yarim.
The current conflict in the Middle East with ISIS is reshaping alliances that has been no surprise to Bible Students as it is fully expected based on Bible Prophecy.
According to Bible Prophecy the Biblical King of the South will see an alignment between Egypt with Israel along with the Arab Gulf States.
At the time of the end, the King of the South will oppose aggression from Russia and the EU as they move to invade the Middle East. This King of the South will be supported by America and Britain in the final Battle of Armageddon, a war to end all wars when Christ intervenes and destroys all the armies. We can see this support even now as the West sells arms to the nations that will make up this King of the South.
Yet again we see the latter day alignment of Nations as Prophesied by the Bible falling into place before our very eyes. See this article to learn more about this and the latter day prophecies of the Bible.