Syria: oil factor

Syria: oil factor

Leonid Savin's "Stratagems"

No matter what else is said about the causes of the conflict in Syria, there is no denying that among them is the fundamental fact of how it is connected with petropolitics and the interests of  global capital. Now let's step aside from flood of discussions about the tactics of guerrilla warfare and analysis formed of the situation with the methods of propaganda through Social Networks and hidden religious motives and look at these energy concerns.

The state of affairs of the regional powers, which are the most important players in energy politics present Iraq and Iran on one side of the conflict and Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the other. Syria lies in a strategic position amidst possible regional infrastructure projects, and trunk pipelines that could link the region of the greater Middle East to Western Europe.

Simple geography determines that Syria is in a more advantageous position for this pupose than Turkey through which the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline lies. The south Caucasus is even further north and the Russian Federation has strategic interests there.

So, Syria is the only fall-back position as an alternative for a transit country. Besides having its own oil fields, Syria's leadership is quite aware of the importance of their country's geographic location.

Since 2009 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been promoting a "Four Seas Strategy" to turn the country into a trade hub between the Persian Gulf, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. In 2010, the government signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq for the construction of two oil pipelines and one gas pipeline to carry gas and oil from Iraq’s Akkas and Kirkuk fields to the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2011 Iranian officials announced a $10 billion gas pipeline deal between Syria, Iraq and Iran that would transport gas from Iran’s South Pars gas field, the world’s biggest, through Iraq to Syria. An extension of the AGP from Aleppo in Syria, to the southern Turkish city of Kilis that could later link to the proposed Nabucco pipeline linking Turkey to Europe was also planned.

So many varied regional players cooperating peacefully together contradicted Washington's hub and spoke foreign strategy and their plans to control energy flows to Europe. These plans might also be ruined by the outbreak of conflict or other majeure circumstances. By the beginning of 2011 the first demonstrations in Syria were already held and the idea of creating chaos was supported by the West and the regional powers, because it could prevent the realization of Syria's Four Seas Strategy. Turkey has begun to directly contradict its own former policy "of having no problems with its neighbors". The second state of import is diminutive Qatar whose interests are aligned with those of the USA and the UK. Turkey depends on gas from Russia and Iran. It was advantageous for Turkey from the point of view of an Eurasian Strategy to enter into an alliance with Syria, (there is dependence on the West through NATO), then Qatar leapt at the potential self advantage gained from from breaking up a Syrian-Turkish partnership. Earlier Qatar had proposed a gas pipeline to Syria to transport gas across Europe, but this idea was rejected by the Syrian government. And so Qatar's spiteful revenge has been a factor in the Syrian conflict. Estimating the perspective gas income to Europe and having gained the support of paranoid EU and US politicians who were worried about Gazprom's monopoly, Qatar started to support an opposition front - the National Transitional Council, a politically amorphous structure, including Non-Governmental Organizations and Islamic jihadists, many of whom do not even understand their enemies. Utilizing their soft power tools, Qatar and the US State Department started sponsoring different religious centers and organizations in particular those which are connected with the Sufi tradition and mystical Islam in general. For example, Sheikh Abdelkader, a follower of Shaykh Mawlay al Arabi ad Darqawi’s theory, established links with Qatar and the UAE, receiving financial support from these countries. The center of the Naqshbandi order in Cyps also was involved in a shady pro-American undertaking. Sheikh Nazim Al-Haqqani established links with the US State Department and propagandized threats against Russia: namely absurd rumors of a Russian invasion of Turkey and the liberation of Istanbul with the help of an Anglo-American army.

Moreover Qatar has worth millions of dollars worth of contracts for the purchase of arms from the USA. It is doubtful that the diminutive state needs to defend itself from its neighboring allied states - Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, or the UAE. Probably they are building up at the provocation of the Pentagon for a hypothetical threat across the Persian Gulf from Iran, which is ludicrous as it is actually Iran that is under threat of invasion from the US and its regional vassals. Iran as an important ally of Syria is the next target of the West. This is not conjecture, but well-established and documented fact.

This is the actual state of affairs of geopolitics in the Middle East. Be alert and watchful!