Trita Parsi and Matthew Petti in The American Prospect:
Reviewing all of the region’s military interventions between 2010 and 2020, our research shows that several powerful states in the region intervene militarily in the affairs of their neighbors to roughly the same degree, defying the idea that the region’s instability can be blamed on a single pariah state.
Among these states—Iran, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates—there is no outlier. While Washington has fixated on Tehran’s interventions, the data shows that the UAE and Turkey have of late outdone Iran in terms of military meddling in the affairs of their neighbors. Iran’s support for militias in Iraq and Lebanon has grabbed headlines in the American media, but the UAE has quietly been building its own international mercenary army with the help of contractors like Erik Prince, and Turkey has shuttled fighters from Syria to Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh.