Over the last week a lot has changed in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar is currently at the heart of an escalating situation, and there is much ambiguity in the details.

Saudi Arabia has imposed an blockade on Qatar, with strongly worded charges of supporting terrorism. This view was almost uniformly supported by the USA as the week began, but over the last few days some nuances have emerged.

In that same time frame Iran and Turkey have stepped into the breech, and offered Qatar thousands of additional troops, and use of Iranian ports to ensure supply of goods to the small nation.

While Saudi Arabia has the ability to push Qatar around, open aggression against Iran in the gulf would be a very bad idea.

Qatar has said that it will, “never surrender,” and with the aid they have coming it would appear that there is no reason to believe otherwise. Although the Saudi-led gulf states have released a list of potential terrorists the Qataris are protecting or funding, this matter isn't a simple one.

Tillerson gets it

Secretary of State Tillerson initially expressed support for the Saudi action, but toward the end of the week he made a 180 degree turn. The small issue at hand is the Al Udeid air base, and the ongoing war in Syria.

In this moment the US backed forces are moving strongly against ISIS in southeastern Syria, so they don't need any additional headaches from a poorly thought out Saudi action.

Secretary Tillerson used the term, “unintended consequences,” to describe the results of massive oversights made by the Saudi regime. He also encouraged the gulf states that are antagonizing Qatar to find another solution.

Qatar is responsible for supplying 40% of the natural gas used by it neighboring states, and this is fuel to generate power for their burgeoning cities.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash even went so far as to suggest that Qatar could be the victim of, “a sort of embargo.”

How Dubai would keep its indoor skiing facilities below freezing wasn't discussed, though this may just be another instance of extremely stupid mouths saying things without thought.

The terror

This entire situation is predicated on Qatar's support of terrorists, but the situation in the middle east is never that simple. President Trump has been adamant in his support for the Saudi led blockade, though the position of the US may not be so straightforward.

Rex Tillerson knows that the US needs to keep Al Udeid air base going nonstop against ISIS, but he doesn't seem to know why. The answer to that question isn't pleasant for the US, as they are a big part of the reason that ISIS was able to grow into the monster it is today.

In heavily redacted documents cited by the guardian in a 2015 report, Seumas Milne details how the US and British power brokers fostered the branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq to grow into ISIS, which has clearly morphed into something that is way out of control.

To make matters more complicated, the past week saw the first direct action by the Syrian Army against US troops, when a Syrian drone fired on their position. If this marks the beginning of open aggression by a Russian backed Assad against the US in Syria, well, lets just say that the Al Udeid air base will be more important than ever.

And President Trump might want to figure out what he is going to do with those three carrier groups sitting off the Korean peninsula, as they may be needed elsewhere shortly.