For a long time now, analysts and commentators have been talking about the northern or Sh’ia arc and the southern or Sunni arc in the Arab Middle East. The northern arc is led by The Islamic Republic of Iran and includes much of Iraq, the Alawites in Syria and half of Lebanon, and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group. It is in conflict with the Sunni arc and with the terrorist “Caliphate” of Islamic State.
The southern arc includes Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt and increasingly, Israel. All of the Arab states of the southern arc are ruled either by traditional monarchies or by a military dictatorship (Egypt). They all, with two exceptions, cooperate in defense, security and intelligence matters with the Jewish state, although most of such collaboration is carried on below the radar. The exceptions are Qatar and Oman.