The currently stateless Kurds sit astride the Iraq-Syria border on land blessed/cursed with oil, other resources, and geopolitical significance. Is it any wonder that mega-corporations and their client states are looking to use the Kurds, stoke conflict, and exploit the situation?
by Whitney Webb
Part 8 - Non-oil assets of Syrian Kurdistan also tempt corporations and governments
In addition to oil, the “Kurdistan” of Syria also includes much of Syria’s freshwater, including its three largest reservoirs, as well as much of its electricity (hydropower via Tabqa) and its agricultural resources. The growth of Syria’s Kurdistan also has major implications for one of Syria’s other key assets: its location. In 2013, The New York Times noted that “Syria’s prime location and muscle make it the strategic center of the Middle East.”
Syria’s strategic location makes it crucial to the regional flow of hydrocarbons. Having the northern section of Syria — and potentially the eastern as well, if the U.S. gets its way — under the control of a U.S. ally could have a profound effect on future and existing pipelines. Notably, it would complicate the land route between Syria and Iran, Syria’s staunchest regional ally and long-time foe of the U.S. and Israel — a scenario highlighted by U.S.-based intelligence firm Stratfor back in 2002.
The words of late journalist and historian Patrick Seale – “Whoever would lead the Middle East must control Syria” – ring true for the U.S. government now more than ever. With internal reports warning of the U.S.’ waning position as the “world’s only superpower,” the division of Iraq and Syria is essential to Washington’s designs to maintain its influence, as well as the influence of the corporate powers it protects.