We’ll be speaking at the next YES-DC event on the ongoing conflict in Syria and the role energy has in it.
“When the Arab Spring started in 2011, it soon spread to Syria. Unlike in other countries, the Syrian army did not massively desert to the rebel cause, giving long-time – dictatorial – president Bashar al-Assad the possibilty of staying in office. The chaos that came to be in large parts of Syria that were no longer controlled by the government, showed to be prone to any strong force taking over. In 2014, the very well-organized extremist jihadis from the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – ISIS or Daesh – seized many lands and resources, including oil-fields. The jihadists are cruelly leading their conquered lands with a corrupt interpretation of Islam, and currently they are posing the main military threat to Assads presidency, next to carrying out terrorists attacks in other countries (for instance Lebanon and France).
Energy is a large driver in conflicts in the Middle East. Turkey is accused of importing oil from ISIS. Kuweit is an oil country that became independent with help from the West. Saddam Hussein tried to reclaim Kuweit but lost the war. Political tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia is manifesting itself on many fronts, including relations with the US and Assad and influences on oil and gas markets. These are just a small selection of examples.”