The Scramble for Arabia: Gazprom Rulez!

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By Petri Krohn for Fort Russ

3rd February, 2016

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Map by PetoLucem – HD file:

On the evening of February 2nd the Syrian Arab Army is within a few kilometers from victory on all three Aleppo fronts:

  1. Under 2 km to connect with Al-Zahra and Nubbol in the west. This would cut the rebel supply lines to Turkey.
  2. Under 2 km to connect with the Kurds in North Aleppo. This would encircle the rebel-held east Aleppo.
  3. Some 7 km between the forces attacking from the west from the Kuweires airbase to the Sheikh Najjar industrial area. This would create a large ISIS pocket south of the Aleppo-Euphrates Canal.

Further to the west the forces attacking from the Kuweires airbase could reach Lake Assad on the Euphrates River or connect with Kurds west of the Tishreen Dam. This would cut off the Islamic State from Turkey.

There is a far greater geopolitical aspect to all this. Just like in the Scramble for Africa, this is a battle of corridors. In Africa the Cape Town to Cairo Red Line of British imperialism won over rival French ambitions of conquering Africa from East to West.

If Russia wins in Syria, it will gain a Mediterranean port. Not just an isolated base that can be reached by ship through the Turkish Straits, but a port connected by land and rail over friendly SCO territory. The other side of the game is that this victory would be a massive defeat for U.S. and its allies. The Persian Gulf and Arab oil and gas would be isolated from the European markets.

Cecil Rhodes wanted to build a “Red Line” from Cape Town to Cairo

The real reason for the Syrian “revolution” was never democracy.  The “civil war” – or in fact a proxy invasion – was launched by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. after Syria rejected Qatari plans to build a gas pipeline through Syria to Turkey. The Euromaidan revolution in the Ukraine was never about democracy either. The real Western motive for destabilizing Ukraine was to disrupt the Russian gas transit through Ukraine and thus reduce the feared “European dependency on Russian energy.” To break Europe away from Russia, the U.S. would need to provide an alternate source of energy. Liquid natural gas will never be cost effective and can never fulfill European needs. A pipeline the Qatari or Iranian gas fields in the Persian Gulf would be needed.

Whoever wins in Aleppo may gain control of Europe’s energy future. At the moment Russia and Gazprom may have the upper hand.

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