The Turkish Gambit
It’s official: Syrian Kurdistan has ceased to exist. Turkey and Russia have cut a deal that will allow Turkey to occupy a buffer zone in northern Syria, and that’s where the Turkish gambit ends. That buffer zone accomplished two things: It removed the Syrian Kurdish threat to Turkey’s border and created a space for Turkey to relocate Syrian refugees.
Syria’s oil will now go to Assad, keeping in mind that Russia has exclusive E&P rights. The largest oilfield, Al Omar, was nominally under the control of the US and the Syrian Kurds until last week. While the Pentagon has said it is possible that some US troops will stay behind to protect this oilfield, that seems increasingly unlikely and unfeasible.
Now, assuming the remaining players on this field can fight back an ISIS re-emergence, the oil and gas will be Assad’s - and Europe will want it.
This is the point where we get to see that geopolitical and military alliances such as NATO have lost their relevance to natural resources.
What will emerge out of this rubble is a new Syria, thanks to NATO-member Turkey, that - after a couple of hundred billion dollars in reconstruction - will emerge as a supplier of oil and gas to the European Union, and everyone will pretend that this isn’t Gazprom, again. But it will be. Not only will Assad get his oil back, but Iran, Iraq and Syria will get a new Russian-backed pipeline that will further undermine…