Tag Archives: syria

Syria Intervention Plan Fueled by Oil Interests, Not Chemical Weapon Concern

31 Aug

by Nafeez Ahmed / The Guardian

U.N. chemical weapons experts visit people affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

U.N. chemical weapons experts visit people affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

On 21 August, hundreds – perhaps over a thousand – people were killed in a chemical weapon attack in Ghouta, Damascus, prompting the US, UK, Israel and France to raise the spectre of military strikes against Bashir al Assad’s forces.

The latest episode is merely one more horrific event in a conflict that has increasingly taken on genocidal characteristics. The case for action at first glance is indisputable. The UN now confirms a death toll over 100,000 people, the vast majority of whom have been killed by Assad’s troops. An estimated 4.5 million people have been displaced from their homes. International observers have overwhelmingly confirmed Assad’s complicity in the preponderance of war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian people. The illegitimacy of his regime, and the legitimacy of the uprising, is clear.

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Disruption in Oil Supply in Syria Spurs Amateurs to Build Make-Shift Refineries

19 Aug

by Jeffry Ruigendijk / Al Jazeera

One of Abu Zechariah's sons covers his mouth and nose while working with the refinery to avoid inhaling smoke emitted from the rusty tank.

One of Abu Zechariah’s sons covers his mouth and nose while working with the refinery to avoid inhaling smoke emitted from the rusty tank.

Ras al-Ain, Syria – Abu Zechariah and his two sons are farmers in the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain, in northeastern Syria. They are one of many families throughout Syria that have decided to start privately refining crude oil as a way to make money.

Trucks come from Ramlan to Ras al-Ain, where they then begin to extract the low-quality fuel using rudimentary and dangerous equipment.

Rival rebel groups and regime forces continue to battle for control of strategic oil and gas fields in Syria’s northeast. Since the war began, local demand for oil has soared due to the disruption in supply from the West, which has led to small, privately owned refineries being built throughout Syria. Though profitable, this process of refining “rock oil” is unhealthy, and explosions are always a risk.

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