World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2021


World War 3 concerns have spiked in recent days as Israel and Palestine have continued the worst fighting and bloodiest violence seen in the region since 2014. The strikes between Israelis and Palestinians is taking place as a killer infection continues to spread across the globe, prompting World War 3 concerns again. Given the tense relations between countries around the world, Express.co.uk has compiled a guide for the flashpoints where World War 3 is most likely to erupt in 2021.

A US Coast Guard ship fired warning shots at an Iranian boat which came too close to USA naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz this week.

The Pentagon said 13 fast boats from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came within 140m (459ft) of US vessels on Monday.

In response to the second incident of its kind in the region within a fortnight, the US ship fired 30 warning shots.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby accused the Iranian boats of "acting very aggressively" near the US military vessels, which were escorting USS Georgia, a guided-missile submarine.

The former Iranian President Mahmoud filed to run for a third term in next month’s elections.

Mr Mahmoud developed Iran’s nuclear program during his tenure in office from 2005 to 2013, leading to heightened tensions with Western countries, and his reelection in 2009 triggered mass protests.

He was barred from running in 2017.

The worsening relations between the US and Iran is thought likely to have serious economic, political and security ramifications for the USA and its allies.

If the two nations were to engage in military conflict, Iran could opt to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which 30 percent of the world's oil travels.

This would result in global oil prices rising and could risk the USA's relationship with its allies.

Any outbreak of war between the USA and Iran could also see an escalation of tensions in other countries including Syria and Yemen or a rise in Iranian missile strikes targeting US troops in the Middle East. 

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World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2021

World War 3: Which locations are most likely for World War 3 to break out? (Image: GETTY)

World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2021

World War 3: Ongoing violence in Israel escalated at the beginning of this week (Image: GETTY)

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Tensions between Iran and Israel have been frustrated for a while with low-intensity warfare raging across the Middle East as a result.

The former nation supports anti-Israel groups in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon in particular, while Israel often strikes at Iranian forces across the region.

Overall, Israel has endeavoured to create an anti-Iran coalition at a diplomatic level, while Iran has invested in cultivating ties with militias and non-state actors.

While it may be difficult to claim these nations will launch into a wider war if Iran is determined to restart its nuclear program, Israel may choose to engage in wider strikes hitting the Iranian homeland directly.

This type of assault could have wider implications as it could prove to be a threat to global oil supplies which would inevitably cause more nations to intercede.

Israel is currently in a state of crisis with its Jewish settlers fighting against Palestinian natives.

Gaza was targeted by the heaviest Israeli bombardment seen in years overnight, with militants in Gaza launching rockets in retaliation aimed at Israeli towns.

As of May 14, at least 119 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed since the violence began.

Countries around the globe have called on the nation and its representatives to calm the ongoing strife, but this has proven ineffective thus far.

The UN’s Middle East envoy issued a shocking warning this week claiming “we’re escalating towards a full-scale war”.

The UN official Tor Wennesland said: “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full-scale war.

“Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of de-escalation.

“The cost of war in Gaza is devastating and is being paid by ordinary people.

“The UN is working with all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is “deeply concerned” by the growing violence and warned both sides to “step back from the brink”.

World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2021

World War 3 mapped: President Erdogan has been known to clash with the USA (Image: GETTY)

Tensions between the US and Turkey has heightened in recent years, initially as a result of the US providing authorisation to Turkey to clear the Syrian border of US-supported Kurds.

However, immediately afterwards, the US threatened Ankara with sanctions, causing tensions to rise.

Additionally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested he has aspirations for Turkey which could involve nuclear weapons.

As a result, the state of the US-Turkey relationship has worsened, causing fear about the subsequent impact on the NATO alliance.

President Erdogan is known for being passionate about his plan which could force Washington and Ankara to the very edge and have a result on Russia who is a neighbouring nation.

Turkish forces launched airstrikes and a ground offensive against PKK fighters in northern Iraq at the end of last month.

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World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2021

World War 3 mapped: The relationship between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has worsened in the past decade (Image: GETTY)

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In the past 10 years, the relationship between India and Pakistan has worsened, bringing the countries to the brink of war.

Since the partition of British India in 1947 and the subsequent creation of India and Pakistan, the two countries have been involved in a number of wars, conflicts and military stand-offs interspersed with periods of harmony and peace.

In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempted to reduce the autonomy of Kashmir and to change citizenship policies within the rest of India.

These steps have caused some unrest within India and highlighted the long-standing tensions between Delhi and Islamabad.

Further domestic disturbances in India and Pakistan could lead to World War 3.

While this is unlikely, it could lead to terrorist attacks internationally or in Kashmir.

Prime Minister Modi might then feel forced to bring on a more serious conflict and given China’s vicinity, and the growing relationship between Delhi and Washington could lead to more disastrous international implications.

Indian and Pakistani intelligence officials held secret talks in Dubai in January in an effort to deescalate tensions over the Kashmir region, sources claim.

The United Arab of Emirates is also reportedly helping to mediate.

World War 3 MAPPED: The SIX places where WW3 could break out in 2021

World War 3 mapped: US-North Korea relations have been extremely tense for a long time (Image: GETTY)

Fundamental tensions at the heart of the US-North Korea relationship could result in combative action.

North Korea this week accused US leader Joe Biden of pursuing a hostile policy against it and warned a response could leave the USA in a "very grave situation".

The North Korean foreign ministry said diplomacy was a “spurious signboard” for the US to “cover up its hostile acts,” according to state media agency KCNA.

These incendiary comments were made after President Joe Biden delivered a policy speech to Congress earlier this month during which he discussed nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran saying they posed threats which must be addressed through "diplomacy and stern deterrence".

This was just one of the explosive comments directed at the US.

Pyongyang also blasted Washington for criticizing its human rights record and Seoul for failing to stop anti–North Korea leaflets from being sent across the border.

Speaking on the topic of North Korea, first-term US leader Mr Biden said he is seeking middle ground between former president Donald Trump's emphasis on personal diplomacy and former president Barack Obama's approach of conditioning engagement on North Korean concessions.

As North Korea is a nuclear power with its own complex relationship with China, it is a critical nation for US national security concerns.

The nations undertake many weapons and missile tests, small-scale military and cyber attacks with each posing a significant risk for potential escalation.

Outright threats from North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un are also a cause for concern, as he claims that North Korean weapons can now reach USA territories and even the nation's mainland.

The US-China relationship has been particularly tense in recent years.

A trade deal between the two countries would seem to alleviate some tensions but implementation remains in question.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week accused China of acting more aggressively abroad and more repressively at home.

He added the USA does not wish to hold China down, but would not allow the nation to undermine its rules-based international order.

Tensions have soared in recent times over trade, espionage and the pandemic.

The China-US relationship is crucial to both sides and the globe.

Beijing has repeatedly called on President Biden's administration to improve relations which deteriorated under Mr Trump.

Bilateral talks in Alaska took place between the US and China in March with the former unleashing heated attacks on China's policies regarding human rights, cyberattacks, Taiwan, and its crackdown in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

China countered accusing the US of being unqualified to comment on these issues.