[cryptome] There is more to the Syrian conflict than meets the eye - Syria’s transit future: all pipelines lead to Damascus?

  • From: Jeremy Compton <j.compton@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Sep 2013 22:41:24 +1200

There is more to it than meets the eye when it comes to Syria. I have seen many 
good people talk about security but none appear to have nailed it so far.
I come one among many position one being an interested graduate student of 
International Relations and also a strong interest in International Security of 
which l have studied at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  I have come 
across material which l have found rather enlightening and rather explanatory 
as to what is going on in Syria.

Does anyone understand the concept of Energy security? Simply put it is about 
'security of supply for the consumer' , security of transport, stability of 
price and security of demand for the producer. That in a nutshell is energy 
security. This is backed up also in the academic literature also. This is also 
about geopolitics and the competition amongst the two great powers that of the 
USA and the Russia plus their proxies. This is also about business. Between 
that of Russia and that of the US and her allies. Just go and locate a map of 
where the current oil piplines are currently and where the currently 
constructed and future pipelines are and whose interests are at stake.

This is more than a sarin gas attack or Assad killing his people (no matter how 
bad this or who did this). This is about competition and domination and 
supremacy of this nation. As one may see this far more complex than meets the 

Here is one example in full below. I also want to suggest to you what other 
Pseudonym writer is arguing that of V the Guerilla economist
Why Syria? It's not what you think and it's not what you've been told. Aug 25, 
You can also listen to this same person explain this in his own words 
The Hagmann And Hagmann Report With V Aug. 29, 2013 
This runs for 48 minutes and is certainly worth listening to otherwise l would 
not have posted it.

Syria's Energy Future After the Upheaval                        - The European 
energy policy observatory 

Syria Energy Profile: Location Key In Strategic Terms Of Energy Transit – 

August 23, 2011

Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria
Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global 
  oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away 
  from the Assad regime in Syria. 

        Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
                12:00PM BST 27 Aug 

Revealed: Britain sold nerve gas chemicals to Syria 10 months after 'civil 
unrest' began

1 Sep 2013 07:21

FURIOUS politicians have demanded Prime Minister David 
Cameron explain why chemical export licences were granted to firms last 
January – 10 months after the Syrian uprising began.

Syria's Pipelineistan war
Pepe Escobar


                        This is a war of deals, not bullets.
                                06 Aug 2012 13:44

                In a recent documentary on Al Jazeera English 'The secret of 
the seven sisters' makes a similar argument oil, geopolitics and business. 

Whether you agree with the argument or not, the oil and gas business is big 

Syria's Oil Resources Are a Source of Contention for Competing Groups

Published: March 20, 2013  New York Times 
Oil and Pipeline Geopolitics: The US-NATO Race for Syria’s Black Gold
Syria's proven oil reserves, amounting to 2.5 billion barrels

By Manlio Dinucci
Global Research, April 07, 2013


EU-Turkey agree on Arab gas pipeline cooperation

The EU, Turkey, Iraq and Mashreq countries (Egypt, Jordan, 
Lebanon and Syria) reached a consensus on Monday to connect Arabian 
natural gas pipeline to Turkey, Iraq and the EU through Nabucco and 
other pipelines at a commission meeting in Brussels.Monday, September 02, 2013 
12:40 Hurriyet English with wires

Syria’s transit future: all pipelines lead to Damascus?
                Posted by Amrit Naresh on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 · 2 


                        Between the rise of Hafez al-Assad in 1971 and the 
engulfing his son’s government today, the Syrian energy sector seems to 
have come full circle.

An oil importer in the 1950s and 60s with little production of its 
own, Syria became a net exporter of oil by the 1980s; it is now a 
country whose depleting reserves
 will lead to petroleum imports soon exceeding exports once again. With 
oil production approaching an apparent dead end, the Syrian government –
 that is, whoever succeeds the lame duck regime of Bashar al-Assad – 
will need to lean on oil transit fees for revenues, as the government of
 the 50s and 60s did with the IPC pipeline from Iraq to Syria’s 
Mediterranean coast. In this sense, once Assad goes he will leave his 
country’s energy sector in much the same situation his father found it 
in when he rose to power in 1971.

A role as a center of oil and gas transit, rather than production, 
presents the best future scenario for the Syrian energy sector. But even
 after the end of the crisis shaking Syria today, this transformation 
will prove much easier said than done.

The idea of Syria as a regional oil transit hub is nothing new, 
thanks to its situation between Europe and major producing areas in the 
Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea. There is already one major transnational 
gas pipeline passing through Syria, the Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP) from 
Egypt to the Lebanese port of Tripoli. There is also the old IPC line from 
Iraq, which has been off-line since the US invasion of that country in 2003.

In 2009, recognizing that the heady days of Syrian oil production in the 1980s 
were long gone and that the sector’s future lay in transit, Assad announced
 a ‘four seas strategy’ aimed at transforming the country into a 
regional hub for oil transportation between the Persian Gulf and the 
Black, Caspian and Mediterranean seas. He began taking steps to realize 
the country’s transit-center potential and bring the four seas strategy 
closer to reality.

In late 2010, his government signed
 a memorandum of understanding with Iraq for the construction of two oil
 and one gas pipeline to carry gas and oil from Iraq’s Akkas and Kirkuk 
fields, respectively, to the Syrian port of Banias on 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. Also planned was 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, if that pipeline ever materializes.

It would be a boon for Syria if these proposed deals were eventually 
followed through. But at this point, of course, with the government 
isolated and the country on the brink of civil war, the whole strategy 
seems wildly speculative. No foreign contractors or foreign money will 
get involved in the proposed projects as long as Assad clings to power.

But financing is only the first problem. Before serious planning for 
pipelines can begin, Syria will need to stabilize its relations with its
 neighbors politically, especially Turkey and Iraq. Both are essential 
to Syria’s realization of its transit potential – Iraq as a key supplier
 of oil and gas and Turkey as a destination point for Syria’s 
transnational pipelines, particularly the AGP.

Syrian-Iraqi relations have been hostile for much of the past half 
century, with tensions between rival Baath party governments in the time
 of Saddam Hussein cemented by Syria’s longstanding ties with Iran since
 the 1979 revolution. Syria and Iraq reestablished diplomatic links in 
2006, partially because Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki had become heavily 
reliant on Assad’s ally Iran for power, but these were broken again
 in 2009 after Iraq accused Damascus of harboring militants who bombed 
Baghdad in August of that year. Still, the Iran factor continues to 
complicate Syrian-Iraqi relations today, with the Maliki government yet 
to condemn Assad, probably under the influence of Iran.

Turkey, a one-time ally of Assad’s regime, has gone much further in condemning 
the violent crackdown, announcing last November that it would halt joint oil 
exploration activities with Syria and saying this month that it would 
completely suspend all trade relations and agreements between the two countries.

As strategic as Syria’s geography is, Turkey and Iraq have already 
shown the ability to move on without their troubled neighbor in the 
transit of oil and gas. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, built in the 1980s 
and the only operating export route for Iraq’s northern production, 
seemingly goes out of its way to bypass Syria on its way to Ceyhan on Turkey’s 
Mediterranean coast.

If and when Assad is deposed and a new transitional government 
succeeds him, it will need to gain the trust of both Turkey and Iraq 
before it can move into a regional leadership role in oil and gas 

The political terrain is tricky. Turkey, a NATO member, is firmly 
anchored with the West and will presumably want a new Syrian government 
as different as possible from Assad’s discredited regime. The new 
government’s ability to work with Iraq, meanwhile, may depend on its 
relations with Iran. If the transitional government, like Assad, is 
beholden to Iran, it may be easier for it to coordinate with the Maliki 
government in Iraq than if it is more closely aligned with Turkey and 
the West.

Nothing on this front will happen as long as Assad clings to power. 
But even after the current regime falls, the new government will need to
 pull off a difficult balancing act to make both Turkey and Iraq 
amenable to cooperation.

Only one thing seems sure: oil and gas transit is the safest bet for 
Syria’s energy future. The regional politics surrounding the 
construction of new pipelines are far murkier. The government after 
Assad will face a tough test of navigating this political minefield to 
reclaim any potential of a four seas strategy that remains.

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  • » [cryptome] There is more to the Syrian conflict than meets the eye - Syria’s transit future: all pipelines lead to Damascus? - Jeremy Compton