|The so-called "Shia Crescent"|
The Sunni feared at the time that the Shiites of the Middle East were gaining power, and that the Iranians might even seek to find ways to covertly overthrow the conservative Sunni regimes of the Persian Gulf. With the civil war in Syria, and the Alawite Shia regime in Damascus at serious risk of being overthrown, the Sunni states of the Gulf now see an opportunity to turn the tide against Iran and cut a gaping hole in the Shia crescent.
The easiest way to understand this is simply to look at who is supporting the Alawite Shia regime in Syria, and who is funding the Sunni opposition:
Supporters of Assad
- Saudia Arabia
|Demographics of Sunnis and Shia in the Middle East|