'Although opposition fighters have been implicated in tremendous atrocities, international observers universally confirm the vast bulk of the increasingly sectarian violence to be the responsibility of Bashir al-Assad's regime.
Yet the conflict is fast taking on international dimensions, with unconfirmed allegations that rebel forces might have used chemical weapons following hot on the heels of US-backed Israeli air strikes on Syrian military targets last weekend.
But the US, Israel and other external powers are hardly honest brokers. Behind the facade of humanitarian concern, familiar interests are at stake. Three months ago, Iraq gave the greenlight for the signing of a framework agreement for construction of pipelines to transport natural gas from Iran's South Pars field - which it shares with Qatar - across Iraq, to Syria.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the pipelines was signed in July last year - just as Syria's civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo - but the negotiations go back further to 2010. The pipeline, which could be extended to Lebanon and Europe, would potentially solidify Iran's position as a formidable global player.
The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan is a "direct slap in the face" to Qatar's plans for a countervailing pipeline running from Qatar's North field, contiguous with Iran's South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, also with a view to supply European markets.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
The Conflict in Syria as a War over Pipeline Routes.
One article that appears to make some sense of events in Syria is by Nafeez Ahmed in The Guardian.