Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Assad's "Four Seas Strategy" Damascus converges with China

Image borrowed from here

Above is a pic of one section of what seems to be quite a grand plan-Four Seas Strategy

This is quite interesting..............

While China is moving west towards the Caspian Sea, Damascus is concurrently moving eastward. Since 2009, Bashar al-Assad has been promoting a "Four Seas Strategy" to turn Damascus into a trade hub among the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea and the Caspian Sea.

Aligning Syria with countries that lie on these shores—Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan (The Weekly Middle East Reporter, August 1, 2009)—Assad peddled this idea in May 2009 with Turkey, stating that “Once the economic space between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran become integrated, we would link the Mediterranean, Caspian, Black Sea, and the [Persian] Gulf … we aren’t just important in the Middle East…Once we link these four seas, we become the compulsory intersection of the whole world in investment, transport and more.”

He described Syria’s nexus of “a single, larger perimeter [with Turkey, Iran and Russia]…we’re talking about the center of the world” [17]. Syria can thus act as a means of access for EU countries to markets in the Arab world and western Asian countries [18]. Assad discussed this vision with Medvedev in May this year, and in August 2009 he received Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s blessing when he presented this strategy [19].

To this end, Assad is taking steps to expand the Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP) to pipe gas from Egypt and Iraq via Syria, and connecting with Nabucco pipelines to Turkey onto Europe.

Was Syria setting itself up to be the centre of the universe. The compulsory intersection of the whole world in investment transport and more?

A little more

"Assad's enlarged vision of Syria's role as a strategic energy transiting role is to link the nation's oil and gas pipeline network to the Nabucco pipeline that will carry oil from the Caspian Sea to Turkey and on to Europe," Brooks observed.

Is this why Assad has to go? To get a more western compliant government in place?
One that may not be quite so accommodating to China.
It has to be asked.

Rallies were held in support of the Syrian government in a number of Syrian cities

Syrians Rally, This Time in Support of Leader

10's of 1,000's of people in Homs

On Tuesday, tens of thousands of Syrians took part in boisterous pro-regime demonstrations, shouting, “The people want Bashar Assad!” and releasing black, white and red balloons - colours of the Syrian flag.

The largest gathering appeared to be in Damascus, but Syrian state TV showed similar demonstrations in the northern cities of Aleppo and Latakia, Hasaka in the northeast, and the southern city of Daraa.

More news on the pro-government protests, which seem far larger then any of the anti-government protests I have seen.

There are reports of large crowds in Aleppo, Damascus and the southern city of Deraa, where anti-government protests first broke out in March.

The Syrian government has taken journalists and diplomats to the fought-over town of Jisr-al-Shughour. Footage shot under supervision appeared to show shelled buildings, burnt-out cars and a mass grave where bodies were being retrieved.

Interesting, no? The Syrian government is taking journalists to see what there is to see.

And Turkey is hiding the refugees?


  1. Looks like you are correct. Great research.

    - Aangirfan

  2. Thanks Aangirfan!
    But, I am not quite sure what it is I am right about?

  3. hi Pen, a common element with all these Middle East countries (and Thailand) being attacked is that they all have (had!) growing economic ties with China.

    I'm suspicious though that Assad would be crowing about becoming the trade hub in public before the actuality.

  4. further to that, Assad has been trained in politics, since he could walk, by his father, a wiley politician if ever there was one.
    And it seems to me that Assad never says anything he doesn't have to.

  5. A lot of that Caspian Basin oil and NG was supposed to go to a pipeline that went to Turkey, then under the sea and onto Israel's port of Haifa.(Believe it was nicknamd the TAPI)

    Haifa would be to oil what Amsterdam is to diamonds.

    Is this why the PTB are trying to dump him overboard?

  6. hey james:

    good point about the closeness to China, because Libya was chock full of chinese workers and investment.

    wrt: Assad discussing this topic, do you mean he was crowing about something that was in fact realistic?
    Or unrealistic?
    I am a bit unclear?

  7. Greg: TAPI

    is Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
    It was originally TAP, but then India came into the picture.

    You may be thinking of the Nabucco pipelines

  8. hey, Pen, I wasn't too clear was I?

    yes all the countries along the Nth African Mediterranean coast are/were doing big business with China and really starting to prosper. That's a no-no for the US which is trying to isolate China plus they want to surround the Med to make it their every own swimming pool and exclude Russia from having a naval presence or transit.

    THEN there's the pipelines. This article from Pepe Escobar ( and here )is a couple of years old but it gives a lot of valuable background

    Greg, i think these will answer a lot for you, mate.

    So, M. Assad! He may well have said those things but it seems out of character. I can well imagine he wants to link up these seas i.e. the countries in between and surrounding them. But i cannot ever imagine he would be part to feeding gas into the Nabucco pipeline.

    The Nabucco pipeline's purpose is to supply gas to Europe from the middle east so Europe is no longer dependant on Russian gas. While ever it is, Europe is never going to go along with militarily attacking Russia. The stakes are big here.

    So i think the article is a mixture of fact and fiction.

    Ultimately, this is all about control of the pipelines and where they go and that will determine to a great extent who controls Eurasia.

    Up till now most of the Eurasian countries have been poor and have traded with each other via sea lanes and who controls them? First Britain and now America. One of the reasons Britain went to war with Germany in the Fist World War was because Germany was building an overland rail link to ship back oil and bypass the British controlled sea lanes. THere's a long history here!

    So back to today, if these Eurasian countries can do the bulk of their trade, especially oil and gas overland, then they will cast Britain, Japan and the US tot the periphery and render their threat to intervene in this vital trade at sea useless.

    Hence China's emphasis on re-establishing a New Silk Road. There's also this coming from the other end of the Silk Road to complicate things!

    As Brezinsky(sp?) has said "To control the world you need to control Eurasia. Eurasia IS the world"

  9. Here's a map showing the competing pipelines TAPI and IPI

    There was at one stage a proposal to extend the IPI line from India up into China. Notice how close it goes to Gwadar in Pakistan where China is building a port.

    Greg the pipeline taht would end up in Haifa from Turkey is the BTC pipeline from Baku in Azwerbijan(sp?) through Georgia to Ceyhan on the Turkish coast. (Russia should have stayed in Georgia!)

    If Syria had a pipeline to it's Mediterranean coast it would screw up israel's hoped for monopoly on oil through the Med to Europe. This would make Eurppe hesitant to attack Syria then just like it is hestiant to attack Russia now.

    And, Greg, your description that Haifa would be to oil what Amsterdam is to diamonds is very apt.

    Someone should do a post on all this!

  10. Hey James:

    "So, M. Assad! He may well have said those things but it seems out of character. I can well imagine he wants to link up these seas i.e. the countries in between and surrounding them. But i cannot ever imagine he would be part to feeding gas into the Nabucco pipeline. "

    I wonder if it was a competitive pipeline to Nabucco? I have got something interesting to look at at NYSC left some stuff I have yet to get too.

    And James if your about Aferrismoon sent me a copy of that ponerology book, PDF, interested?
    I will forward it to you.

    And thanks Aferrismoon, I did get it! :)

  11. The Kirkuk-Banais pipeline would certainly compete with the BTC pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan on the Turkish coast and foil the monololy that israel is trying to achieve regarding oil transshipment in and through the Mediterranean Sea to southern Europe.

    BP is behind the BTC pipeline as well as the Nabucco one and it is similarly dodgy economically. Also, it is shoddily built (as in Alaska) and will no doubt have large maintenance costs both to BP and to the environment (also as in Alaska). Nabucco, if it is ever built will no doubt be the same.

    And "yes please" regarding the Ponerology book. Thanks Pen

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