BALTIMORE, Md. – As unrest continues in the city of Baltimore, security experts are now saying the city has become yet another front in the growing proxy wars between the Middle Eastern countries of Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The two countries have been engaged in an escalating series of conflicts in the Middle East, from Iraq to Syria to Yemen and now Sandtown on the West Side. While the two countries have long competed for influence in the city's drug trade, where Ayatollah Khomenei briefly worked in the 1970s as a street dealer and aspiring Hip-Hop artist, the rivalry officially broke into the open last week, following riots aimed at the Saudi-trained Baltimore Police Department.
After Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used the popular hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter to blast the Baltimore police, the Saudi foreign ministry responded with the hashtag #PoliceLivesMatter and blamed much of the unrest on Iranian-backed "thugs" from Hezbollah and the Black Guerrilla Family.
On Thursday, Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani took a break from directing operations in the Iraqi city of Tikrit to stand in front of Baltimore City Hall and promise increased weapons shipments to the city. An Iranian convoy consisting of six dhows and a tugboat with a rocket launcher have already departed the port of Bandar Abbas and should reach Baltimore by early August.
The war of words continued to escalate on Friday after six Baltimore police officers were indicted in the death of local citizen Freddie Gray. Iran held a huge protest rally in Azadi square, where defense minister Hossein Dehghan compared Baltimore police chief Anthony Batts to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and declared, "The only terrorism today is in the Western District and Mondawmin Mall!"
Saudi Arabia immediately accused Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who issued the indictments, of being a paid Mossad agent and released a cartoon of Dehghan being stuffed in the back of a van bearing the Saudi coat of arms with the caption "Time for Rough Justice."
The conflict has even spilled over to Baltimore's music scene, with artists like Notorious IRGC, King SoulMan, and Cuztodian of 2 Holy Moskz turning the war of words into song.
Surprisingly absent from the conflict has been the Islamic State, although its spokesmen has reiterated that it is still fully committed to supporting the related protests in Ferguson as soon as the entire protest movement converts to Islam.
American officials have been relatively quiet on the East Gulf–West Gulf rivalry, although they strongly condemned Iran's plans to ship weapons into Baltimore when it's much easier to get them from Virginia.
The Maryland National Guard has been attempting to maintain order by arming a faction of the Crips gang called "The Mondawmin Awakening," but were publicly embarrassed after the CIA admitted it had been supplying its own proxies in the Bloods.
On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that while the Saudi-Iranian presence in Baltimore is immensely destabilizing, he would not rule out working with either country to help keep the city quiet. His actions were condemned by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who said that only Congress gets to decide when rioting is over and personally burned down a CVS store to prove his point.