Strife, conflict, religious extremism, and political maneuvering has plagued the middle east for millennia. These oil-rich nations; Turkey, Syria, Jordon, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,...
Iran, Bahrain, and Qatar have struggled under dictators, powerful religious leaders, and, in some cases, periods of secular nationalism. It's difficult for westerners to understand the role played by the various ethnic groups (Sunni, Shiite, other Muslim, and other) which can be more important than geographic boundaries in determining loyalties. This infographic from the New York Times maps the relationships, including the influence of the United States.
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