The Proxies and Militias of Middle East Geopolitics

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The Middle East has always  been a battleground for power competition between external and regional forces, often employing local proxy armies. Today, the primary backers of these proxy forces include Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia. Other, less prominent sponsors include Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Egypt, Pakistan, and select European Union (EU) member states.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is also becoming a major player in the region and is heavily invested in the outcomes of conflicts and wars in the Middle East. Its engagement tends to be economic and diplomatic. At present, there do not appear to be any direct connections between the PRC and regional proxy armies. China does indirectly support militias through its diplomatic backing and economic engagements with Iran, as well as other third-party supporters of militias in the area.

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