I don’t think anyone has the right “narrative” on Syria, a country that was arbitrarily carved out of the Turkish Ottoman Empire 100 years ago by French and British and set up for failure (not to mention subjected to repeated meddling by western + regional intelligence agencies).
This is Syria’s situation as of 2019 - and the situation is exactly what you would imagine if any sovereign country was being controlled by multiple competing armed factions. Syria has lots of oil, natural gas, and other commercially lucrative natural resources to exploit.
Syria had been weak and unstable after independence from France, in 1946. It witnessed twenty coups in twenty-one years. Hafez-al-Assad’s was the last, in 1970. It was, initially, applauded (even Nixon visited him). The name Assad means “lion” and he attempted to rule like one.
Jimmy Carter met Assad in Geneva, in 1977, to explore prospects for a US-Soviet conference on Middle East peace. Assad demanded return of territory seized by Israel and strategic parity for the Arab world. He was willing, Carter recalled, to “face serious military confrontation.”
Assad’s son Bashar, the current president of Syria, is a British-trained ophthalmologist. He was elected President in 2000, one month after his father passed away. After the US invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Assad took in millions of Iraqi war refugees and migrants.
After 2003 US invasion of Iraq, shipments of oil from Iraq to Syria were halted by US, strangling the already weak Syrian economy, even as war refugees and migrants poured across the border from Iraq into Syria. Conditions were ripe for a Syrian civil war.
With the Iraq-Syria border freshly porous after US invasion of Iraq, some Iraqis who had fled to Syria and were angered by US presence in Iraq regrouped and returned to Iraq as fighters. The US occupation of Iraq in turn increased growth of militant and Islamist groups in Syria.
Radicalized by US presence in Iraq, several foreign students at Syrian schools were involved in bombings in Turkey, Israel. Now Assad (who is from a minority Alawite sect and strove to make Syria secular) had a growing Islamic militant problem on his hands.
The 2006-2010 drought in Syria saw a mass exodus of farmers to cities, further exacerbating tensions between various groups. Some believe this drought was ultimately the spark that lit the Civil War which ultimately spawned a migrant crisis in Europe, and even triggered Brexit.
The Syrian Civil War opened the doors for various armed factions (including ISIS/ISIL) to take over the country. For some, the big prize is all that oil locked up in the Golan (controlled/occupied by Israel). Kremlin-backed RT sounding off on that👇 https://www.rt.com/op-ed/454231-golan-heights-oil-recognise/ …
Pre-Civil War Syria produced 387,000 barrels of oil per day of which 140,000 bpd were exported. Most of this oil came from Eastern Syria, which is now under the control of the US-backed SDF. Currently, the Syrian oil industry is a shadow of its former self due to the civil war.
US support for SDF includes the presence of 2,000 US special forces and continuous air support. Turkey isn’t pleased with this arrangement: Kurdish YPG is the backbone of the SDF and is linked to the PKK which is the cause of major distress in Ankara.
US support for YPG is one reason for frosty Turkey-US relations. Turkey fears that autonomy for Syrian Kurds will embolden its own restive provinces. For US, supporting the SDF is key to maintaining a foothold in Syria and thwart Iranian, Russian moves.
Of course, when asked about Syria, not a single 2020 presidential candidate has managed to articulate what I just did in this thread. Nor have I seen this dissection summarized anywhere in the media. But then, that’s why this Twitter feed exists 😎.
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