The Sunni-Shiite war is a tragedy, but it would burn itself out if Saudi Arabia and Iran were not using the two Islamic factions are proxies in their struggle for power in the Middle East.
The lineup is Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the Shiite militias on one side, and Saudi Arabia, the Gulf emirates, Turkey and the Sunni militias on the other.
The U.S. government has inflamed the conflict further by taking the side of Saudi Arabia. This has undermined our “war on terror,” because Al Qaeda and ISIS are among the Saudi-backed Sunni militias warring against Syria.
Now Russia is befriending Iran and giving military assistance to Syria, and the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq is thinking of calling in Russian help. All this is in the name of fighting ISIS, which is a good thing, not a bad thing. But if Russia is lining up permanently with Iran’s proxies against the U.S.-backed Saudi proxies, this is quite another thing.
A U.S.-Russian proxy conflict would increase human suffering in the Middle East, and be of no benefit to the American or Russian peoples It would be dangerous for the world.. Washington should open negotiations with Moscow to keep the conflict from escalating further.
Isis in Iraq: Shia leaders want Russian air strikes against militant threat by Patrick Cockburn for The Independent (via the Unz Review)
The Return of the Syrian Army by Robert Fisk for The Independent (via Counterpunch)
Putin Forces Obama to Capitulate on Syria by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.
Turkish Whistleblowers Corroborate Seymour Hersh Report of False Flag Syrian Gas Attack by Peter Lee for China Matters.
U.S.-Russia wrangle over Iraq sphere of influence; Parliament to weigh in by Juan Cole for Informed Comment. [added later]
Even heard of ‘Putin the Shiite’? Well, he is hugely popular in Iraq by Jean-Marc Majon with Raji Nasser for Your Middle East (via Informed Comment) [added later]
War and Peace—revisited by Pepe Escobar for Asia Times [added 10/24/2015]
I added some sentences and phrases a few hours after the original post, in order to clarify my meaning.