AFP (Kambui’s note: the AFP link is dead. Use this one from Reuters) reported a development related to the Syrian civil war that didn’t surprise me one bit: Russian President Vladimir Putin turned down Saudi Arabia’s offer of USD 15 billion of arms sales, plus an opportunity to increase Russia’s influence in the Middle East under the condition that Putin gives up his support for Syria President Bashar Al-Assad, a move which would effectively spell a death sentence for the embattled Alawite ruler.
The more striking aspect of this news is how AFP almost lays bare the root of Syria’s civil war. I’ll fill in a few blanks that you won’t likely see discussed on the major news outlets.
Qatar, a small country that could clone itself and fit both versions into the US state of New Hampshire, teamed-up with Saudi Arabia to hatch a multi-billion dollar idea: to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline that originates from Qatar’s North Field, and then moves through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and then to Turkey. The pipeline will meet regional gas needs and still have capacity to serve Europe — a continent which should love alternatives to the business it begrudgingly gives to the Russians.
Brilliant, huh? But there are three problems with that idea.
The first problem is Syria, since Assad is not down with Qatar’s plan.
The second problem is the Russians, since they obviously want to keep their huge European LNG market share.
Therefore, using Qatar’s logic, Assad has to go, and the USD 3 billion+ Qatar has spent to date on a loosely-knit mercenary army sourced from 29 nationalities, dosed with jihadists and numerous armed gangs while disguised under the romanticized title of “Free Syria Army” is worth the investment.
With over 100,000 dead and rising, Perhaps the Emir Qatar should be on the list of persons to be charged with crimes against humanity after this war is resolved.
Russia’s reasons for supporting Assad are obvious, whether or not you want to agree with them. The US has a number of reasons for why it supports “The Rebels.” We’ll save that for another time.
You would think that Europe would want cheaper LNG prices! Other than being heavily influenced by the United States, I have no rational idea for why Europe is supporting the rebels.
Meanwhile, Syria’s humanitarian crisis worsens…
song currently stuck in my head: “future children, future hopes” – the blackbyrds