There's oil in them thar heights

Chaos unfolding in the Middle East has many authors and motives but control of oil has shaped the politics of the region since the extent of its reserves became clear. Israel's ambitions to dominate the Middle East have been well documented but hitherto it has relied on others for oil. The war on Syria has allowed Israel to stake its illegal claim on the Golan heights, occupied since the 1967 war, allegedly in the interests of "security"; the recent discovery of oil there throws a up another motivation.

Energy wars: ‘massive’ oil discovery in Israel by Jon Rappoport
The oil is actually in the Golan Heights, which was taken by Israel, from Syria, in the 1967 war. The ownership of the area is still contested. (Haaretz: “Genie Confirms Report of Possible Big Golan Oil Find,” Oct 11, 2015)

Meanwhile, the complexities of alliances and enmities among the various protagonists in the regional conflict become ever more tortured; none more so than for the Kurds who, until Russia's recent entry into the conflict, were the only effective force fighting the US/NATO/Israel/Gulf state sponsored ISIS beyond the Syrian army. The following perspective characterises the Kurds as "one of the U.S.'s closest allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State group" which presupposes the US have been intent on defeating ISIS; the evidence suggests otherwise. Nonetheless, the article contains some useful insights into the Kurdish dimension to the conflict.

'Kurds Fight Islamic State Group as Russia Enters Syrian War By: Joris Leverink
Russian airstrikes have targeted all parties the regime views as terrorists, meaning basically everyone who carries a gun without being part of the Syrian Armed Forces – notable exception being the YPG, who are neither in coalition nor in direct confrontation with the regime.

Control of oil (over and above the control of land and money) is a prime geopolitical lever of power - the global economy remains heavily dependent on oil. Removing the flaws from the political economy will go a long way towards ending wars but alternative energy sources and more natural farming methods (oil represents 80% of the inputs to provide food for the UK population) are essential to remove this lever of power and source of conflict.

Please register to post comments