World War 3 knocking on Mideast door as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies gird for Syria invasion

Commandos listen to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (not pictured) during his visit to the Gendarmerie Commando Special Forces headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, in this Feb. 16, 2016 handout photo by the Presidential Palace.Reuters

World War III could explode at any moment in the Middle East as military forces from Iran and Syria, backed up by Russia, as well as those from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many of their allies, backed up by the United States, are gearing for a colossal battle.

Troops arrive to participate in joint military exercises in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia's border with Iraq in this handout photo by Saudi Press Agency released on Feb. 16, 2016.Reuters

Writing for Charisma News, journalist Michael T. Snyder warned that he has not seen a scenario more likely to lead to World War III than the one playing out right now in the Middle East.

Synder noted that Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, even as Saudi Arabia hosts the largest "military exercises" in the history of the Middle East.

The ongoing Saudi-led military exercises dubbed "North Thunder" include troops from 20 nations, according to Saudi state media, noting that they include air, sea and land forces.

Aside from Saudi Arabia, the nations participating in the exercises are Jordan, Bahrain, Senegal, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Kuwait, the Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania, and Mauritius

Reports said the exercises involve 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters.

Synder expressed doubt that this huge army now assembled in the north of Saudi Arabia is just for "training."

Moreover, Saudi Arabia has sent troops and fighter jets to a Turkish military base ahead of a possible ground invasion of Syria.

Giving even clearer hints of Saudi Arabia's military objective, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "will leave – have no doubt about it. He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force."

But if the Saudis and their allies send their armies to Damascus to try and remove Assad by force, the Syrians and their allies will certainly fight back. That means the Saudis will be fighting Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians, Synder said.

"And if fighting does break out, how is the United States possibly going to stay out of it?" asked Synder, the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and author of the book "The Beginning of the End."

"The truth is that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would never invade Syria in the first place without the express approval of the Obama administration," Synder said.

The author said the next two weeks would be crucial for all the players in the region. "If we can get into early March without an invasion, by that time, Saudi Arabia and Turkey may have missed their window. The troops who are gathered for the massive military exercise in northern Saudi Arabia will start to go home, and by then, the Sunni militants remaining in Aleppo will probably be pretty much completely defeated," Synder said.

But then, will Saudi Arabia and Turkey simply retreat after pouring so much time, effort and money into the conflict in Syria?

"They had dreamed of turning Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation, and if they give up now, Syria will end up being dominated by Iran and Hezbollah. It will be a result that is far worse than if they never tried to overthrow Assad in the first place," Synder said.

With this in mind, Synder feels that the obsession of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies with Syria "threatens to plunge us into World War III."

And if that happens, the consequences will be felt by every man, woman and child on the entire planet, he warned.