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Middle East Expert: 'Showdown' Could be Coming Between Israel-Sunni Alliance and Shiite Iran


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CBN News spoke Monday with our Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell about the relationship between Israel and Sunni Arab nations and their alliance against Shiite Iran. Watch above. 

An unusual alliance is developing in the Middle East between Israel and Sunni Arab nations.

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell says nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt want to see an alliance between their nations and the United States and Israel to stand up against Iran and its influence.

Mitchell says President Donald Trump, along with Israel, has been building the strategic alliance.

"The Sunni alliance would be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, some of the Gulf states, with Israel, and not necessarily publicly, but certainly privately – this growing alliance against the expansion of Iran," he explained.

Evangelical leader Dr. Michael Evans, who established the Jerusalem Prayer Team, says Trump's decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is part of the strategy.

"Donald Trump did more to build the Sunni alliance in one week than all American presidents did in their lifetimes, and the Crown Prince is now an ally of Israel and an ally of Donald Trump and helping," Evans said. 

"We need the Sunni alliance especially in light of Iran so it was absolutely genius on Trump's part," he continued.

Mitchell says the expansion of the Iranian regime includes Iraq "as sort of a puppet government, which controls much of Syria through Hezbollah, and controls most, if not all of Lebanon right now through Hezbollah as well."

"And so they're trying to have a land bridge all the way from Iran to the Mediterranean," he explained.

Trump's National Security strategy lists jihadist terrorists and Iran as major threats to security in the Middle East.

Mitchell says one of the biggest issues in the Middle East is the Sunni-Shiite divide between Sunni nations and Iran.

One key figure, the Middle East bureau chief says, is Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who, Mitchell says, is "setting a new tone."

"One of the – I think the exciting things, or developments you could say, here in the Middle East is how Saudi Arabia is kind of relating to the Jewish state," he explained.

"Just today [Monday] there was a Saudi intellectual who said, 'Really, we should recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state,'" he continued.

"And sort of this kind of rhetoric from even a Saudi intellectual right now is something we haven't seen in ever perhaps, and I think just the recognition of this new alliance in the Middle East," Mitchell said.

But where is all this heading? Mitchell says one outcome could be war.

"We're possibly seeing a showdown coming between these two big alliances – between Shiite Iran and Sunni Arab nations and Israel," he said. "We could see a major regional war."

"It kind of remains to be seen how far Iran is going to take this – how much they want to provoke Israel," Mitchell continued. 

"There's been an attempt by Iran to build military bases on Israel's northern border, on the Golan Heights," he said. "Israel has been literally striking those militarily and trying to stop that military encroachment on Israel's northern border."

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About The Author


Mark Martin currently serves as a reporter and anchor at CBN News, reporting on all kinds of issues, from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East. He traveled to Bahrain and covered stories on the aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mark also anchors CBN News Midday on the CBN Newschannel and fills in on the anchor desk for CBN News' Newswatch and The 700 Club. Prior to CBN News, Mark worked at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There he served as a weekend morning producer, before being promoted to general