Analysis: Ukraine Crisis Poses Dangers for Middle East

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Assessment: the Ukraine crisis serves as the latest test of American strength and resolve. A growing sense of US weakness will further erode its deterrent power, encouraging radical forces in the Middle East to challenge America and its allies …

As the Ukraine crisis escalates, events in Europe could have a dangerous effect on the Middle East. Regional players are closely watching the drama and adjusting their own plans and risk assessments.

Iranian aggression

With all eyes on Ukraine, the Iranian regime could exploit the crisis to make aggressive regional moves. Israeli officials fear that Tehran may feel freer to launch attacks or advance its nuclear program, Maariv daily reported.

With the world’s attention fixed elsewhere, the Iran Axis may conclude that it can take action with minimal Western reaction. The Houthis are already targeting the UAE with missiles and drones and could intensify their strikes. Notably, Tehran’s proxies in Yemen also threatened to attack Israel in recent days.

 Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you. Ezekiel 38:5-6 NIV

Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant

Israeli defense officials estimate that the Houthis may target the Dimona nuclear reactor and Eilat port, The Jerusalem Center reported. The Yemen-based militias could also target Israeli tourists and diplomats in the Emirates, national security expert Omer Dostri warned.

Overall, a war in Ukraine could unsettle the delicate Middle Eastern balance by changing the calculations of key players. Israel, too, could take more aggressive military action with Washington and Moscow preoccupied.

Russian disruption

With tensions in Ukraine growing, Russia is likely to dial up the pressure on the West in other theaters. The Middle East is an ideal arena for Moscow given its regional presence and intimate involvement in sensitive issues.

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