“Omar Ashour, an expert on Middle East security issues at Exeter University, adds another caution, this time over the intentions of the new Saudi-led Arab coalition, warning that its interventions are unlikely to contribute to stability.
“The rise of Arab military coalitions raises serious concerns,” he wrote in a recent piece for Project Syndicate. “Such interventions were usually aimed at empowering a proxy political force over its military and political rivals, instead of averting humanitarian disaster or institutionalising a non-violent conflict-resolution mechanism following a war.”
Speaking to the Guardian last week, he added: “On top of that, the increases in arms sales are bound to be extremely destabilising. At the moment most of the interventions have been against softer targets – Saudi Arabia targeting guerrillas in Yemen; Egypt against Bedouin in Sinai; or strikes against ragtag armies in Libya.
“But if the ‘soft’ keeps being hit hard they won’t remain soft. They will find their own patrons and proxies and hit back and it will lead to a vicious cycle.””