The Middle East and North Africa are generally seen as one of the least stable parts of the world. Indeed, the Institute for Economics and Peace ranks it the most violent region in its annual Global Peace Index.
That’s not surprising, given the civil wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, as well as the insurgency in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, intermittent violence in Israel and the neighboring Palestinian Territories, plus the occasional flare-ups in Iran and Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
Many of the larger conflicts have become venues for proxy wars in which regional powers are testing the abilities of their rivals. In Yemen for example, a coalition involving Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others is fighting to reinstate the government of president Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi while Iran has been providing support to the main opposition group, known as the Houthi rebels. In Syria, elements of the armed forces of Iran, Turkey and others have been heavily involved alongside myriad rebel groups.
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