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caught in the middle

Also, caught in the cross-fire. Between two opposing sides, as in The writers are often caught in the middle between editor and publisher, who are political opponents, or When parents don't get along, the children are often caught in the cross-fire. Long used in military situations, these terms began to be used figuratively in the second half of the 1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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