The row between Qatar and the Saudi-led block has been growing in the Middle East since Monday when Saudi Arabia and some other countries broke diplomatic ties with Qatar. Qatar was also excluded from the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen.
According to experts, the rift among Middle Eastern countries that had played a joint role in the Syrian, Iranian and Yemeni crises is a result of the ongoing collapse of the ISIS terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
The US and its Middle Eastern ally, Saudi Arabia, are deeply concerned that this may increase further the influence of Iran and organizations like the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.
In turn, Qatar has a much bigger freedom of action than its American and Saudi counterparts. Doha used to use ISIS as a tool for pursing own policy in the region. However, it looks that at least a part of the Qatari elites has got that the terrorist group is on the verge of collapse in Syria and Iraq.
Thus, they decided to build better ties with Tehran and the PMU in Iraq. The goal of this effort is to keep the influence in the region and to remove from the line of attack at least a part of the ISIS economic and military political leadership. Strategically, this may allow Qatar to keep some influence in Iraq.
In this case, the recent actions of Riyadh could be seen as an effort aimed to put an additional pressure on Doha and to prevent it from developing relations with Tehran and the PMU. Washington supports this effort, at least on the unofficial level, because it looks as a common part of its wider anti-Iranian strategy in the Middle East.
There are little doubts that Washington is also concerned that Qatar may follow the Erdogan-like approach increasing ties with the Russian-oriented alliance operating in the region.
Some experts describe the current situation is a sign of another round of escalation in the Middle East. If Qatar starts building up better relations and increasing coordination the Russian-oriented powers, it will deliver a major blow to the US interests in the Arabian Peninsula.