Syria: How it all began

BELGRADE – Gas and oil are always in the focus of the problems in the Middle East, writes Italian newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore”, pointing out that the cause of the war in Syria is exactly the powerful pipeline.

According to the daily, the war there began because the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad refused to accept passing of the pipeline from Qatar to Europe through Syria.

This, writes the paper, also said Robert Kennedy Junior in his analysis in the magazine “Politico”, in which he explained that “the real cause of war in Syria is refusal by al-Assad to accept pipeline from Qatar to Europe, which is why a campaign of smearing Assad was started in the West”.

Kennedy Jr., a cousin of the former US president John F. Kennedy, says that the campaign to denigrate the head of government in Damascus “has not started due to the peaceful protests of Syrian opposition during ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011, but in 2009 when Qatar offered to build gas pipeline worth ten billion euros which would go through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey to Europe, and Assad refused.

President Assad, it is added in the text, explained this by the fact that the pipeline would come into conflict with the interest of Syria’s ally Russia, the largest supplier of gas to Europe.

“There is a good reason for intervention of Moscow in Syria, including the recent meeting in Ankara of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Russian President Putin and their agreement to renew the plans to build Turkish Stream pipeline,” notes “Il Sole 24 ore”.

It is also noticed that “one has to be careful when speaking about bilateral energy projects in the Middle East, if you do someone a favor be sure that you’ll hurt someone else.

Milano daily adds that Assad in 2010 began negotiating with Iran, historic ally, and key opponent of America and Saudi Arabia, about the construction of a large-capacity pipeline which would send Iranian gas through Iraq to Lebanon, Syria, and on to Europe.

“Il Sole 24 ore” writes that Kennedy Jr. cited intelligence data that the American secret services, together with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, began financing Syrian opposition and preparations for the overthrow of the regime in Damascus.

“And at the same time in June 2011 The United Arab Emirates, on behalf of the countries of the Gulf, offered Assad financial support of $150 billion to break political, economic and military alliance with Tehran.”

“In return, in addition to money, Gulf countries promised the all protests against Assad will end,” says the Italian newspaper.

Assad refused it and the US and French ambassadors in Damascus went into the rebels HQ, in the city of Hama, to support the revolt against the Syrian government.

“This is how a legitimate rebellion against nation’s autocratic and brutal regime turned into war through intermediaries (insurgents) with the participation of Turkey, and with the blessing of the US State Secretary Hillary Clinton and the money that arrived from Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” says the paper.

Qatari gas pipeline, rejected in 2009, would be, recalls the analysis, a kind of extended version of Taplin pipeline, which back in 1947 wanted to build US company Bechtel and Saudi company Aramco, and when it was stopped by the Syrian parliament, CIA organized a coup in Damascus.

Then in 1953 the British and the Americans organized the overthrow of Iranian President Mossadegh who nationalized the oil industry. The chief was local head of the CIA, nephew of President Roosevelt. And similar events have followed in recent decades in the region.

The French and the British divided the Middle East in 1916 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, with the agreement on their interest zones. The UK got oil-rich Mosul in Iraq, and the French got under their control Syria and Lebanon.

The article also says that the history of Mesopotamia and Syria might in some way reiterated if there was no Russian intervention in September 2015, “and Moscow is an actor who wants to fill the gap left there by the Americans who have been the decisive factor in this field for decades”.

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