Monday, May 20, 2013

Jihadists' control of Syrian oilfields signals a decisive moment in conflict

Source of funding is helping al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra to sideline western-backed rebels and reshape the Middle East
The stranglehold that Jabhat al-Nusra and its allies have achieved over Syria's oilfields signals a decisive moment in the conflict that will shape the rapidly and violently evolving map of the new Middle East.
The impact is immediately visible. With a new independent source of funding, the jihadists holding the oilfields between al-Raqqa and Deir Ezzor are much better equipped than their Sunni rivals, reinforcing the advantage originally provided by Qatari backing. They have been able to provide bread and other essentials to the people in the areas under their control, securing an enduring popular base.
This serves to marginalise the western-backed rebels, the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council (SMC), even further. The blustering claim by the SMC commander, Salim Idriss, that he was going to muster a 30,000 force to retake the oilfields served only to undermine his credibility.
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1 comment:

  1. "The new map that is emerging from the turmoil may make a lot more historical and cultural sense than the lines imposed by western imperialism, but Assad's fateful decision two years ago to respond to the Syrian uprising with violence rather than negotiation has meant that the new Middle East will be even less stable than what came before, perhaps for a generation at least. And oil has helped stoke the fire."