Alongside Iran’s and Russia’s campaigns to restore Syrian President Bashar Assad’s monopoly on power has run a parallel campaign carving up much of the country’s resources in anticipation of a postwar peace when trade with Damascus is again possible.
Over the last eight years, much of Syria has been reduced to rubble. Entire cities have been levelled as Damascus and its allies sought to reclaim land from jihadist and rebel forces. Into this vacuum has been flowing a steady stream of currency from Russia and Iran as they seek to consolidate their military gains and reap what they can of Syria’s anticipated peace dividend.
For Russia, phosphate, a key ingredient in fertiliser, and other natural resources have proven key focuses. Iran has concentrated on services and infrastructure. Both countries are positioning themselves against a possible Chinese economic incursion.
Read the full article and more in The Arab Weekly.