The Middle East has always been a tinderbox and in 2018 that isn't going to change but the landscape has even though the players are the same so maybe we can make sense of who are the friends and foes this year.
The Syrian war which has raged for so long is coming to an end largely thanks to the airforce actions of Iran and Russia who beat the Syrian rebels backed by Saudi Arabia and ISIS members who were originally armed by the United States to fight the Syrian army before they turned the weapons on Iraq and American allies.
The Kurds were the foot-soldiers on the ground in Syria and they were backed financially and militarily by the USA and UK although Turkey have been attacking the Kurds who they consider terrorists.
Iran back the rebels in Yemen who are being attacked by Saudi Arabia and the Iranians support Hezbollah in Lebanon who Israel attack on a regular basis backed militarily by the United States.
As well as Lebanon, Israel have been occupying and attacking Palestinians for over half a century with the Hamas Government armed and supported by Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
Iraq still smoulders but ISIS has been decimated there also thanks to the Iranian and US military.
All in all it's a bit of a mess and now Israel and Saudi Arabia are coming to an uneasy alliance to take on Iran with the USA nodding approvingly on the sidelines.
The players may have changed but as is always the way in war, it is always the civilians who suffer and thanks to a mixture of religion, and outside nations meddling for their own interests, that will carry on in 2018 and it's good for nothing but the undertaker and the cemetery grave diggers, as it always has been and always will be.