Since the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2010, the civil wars that erupted in Syria, Yemen, and Libya, together with the tensions in Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, and Palestine, are all signs of an on-going covert war in the region.
Pushing back against Turkish influence in Syria, as well as throughout the greater Arab/Islamic world from Somalia to Iraq and Qatar to Libya, requires the unity of powerful Arab states, naturally making Saudi Arabia a key player in this regard from Abu Dhabi’s standpoint.
This pillar of the UAE’s foreign policy became increasingly important following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which two Emirati hijackers carried out with 17 others mainly from Saudi Arabia, as well as the Islamic State’s meteoric rise to power in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Among this list was the 1948 Nakba, the events of 1967, which saw Israel occupy more Arab lands, the invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring, and the impact of technological evolution in the field of telecommunications, which he believed “led among other things to the collapse of fear and silence” in the region.
Later, as of the last quarter of 2016, drones were used intensely for assaults by Daesh, both against security forces in Operation Mosul in Iraq, and against the PKK/YPG terrorist organization, which were included in Operation Raqqa in Syria, and against the Syrian regime forces.