We’re about to be plunged into a new oil war in the Middle East, this one with a possible nuclear dimension. Wars for control of oil have been instigated for more than a century since the dawn of the petroleum era around the time of the First World War. This war for control of oil, however, promises to be of a scale that will change world politics in a spectacular and highly destructive manner. It is on one level, a Saudi war to redraw the national borders of the infamous Anglo-French Sykes-Picot carve up of the bankrupt Ottoman Turkish Empire of 1916. This war has as its foolish goal bringing the oil fields and pipeline routes of Iraq and Syria, and perhaps more of the region, under direct Saudi control, with Qatar and Erdogan’s Turkey as Riyadh’s partners in crime. Unfortunately, as in all wars, there will be no winners.
The EU will be a major loser as will the present citizens of Iraq and Syria, as well as the Kurdish Turkish population for starters. Erdogan’s Turkish “sultanate” will be destroyed at a great cost, as will King Salman’s pre-feudal Kingdom as an influence in world power games.
It’s necessary to look more closely at the elements and key players preparing this new war, a war which it is likely will not last beyond perhaps the summer of 2016.
A Four-Dimensional Chess Board
The key players in this cesspool of deception and betrayal on almost every side consist of four broad groupings with each divergent goals.
The first group is the ultra-conservative Wahhabite Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under King Salman and his influential and erratic Defense Minister and son, 31-year-old Prince Salman; President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s war-ready Turkish regime, with the key role being played by his MIT intelligence head, Hakan Fidan; DAESH, or the mis-named IS, which is nothing but a thinly disguised extension of Wahhabite Saudi Arabia, financed by Saudi and Qatari money and backed and trained by Fidan’s MIT. They are recently being joined by the newly-announced 34-state Saudi-created “Islamic Coalition Against Terror,” based in Riyadh.
The second group consists of the Bashar al-Assad legitimate Syrian government, and the Syrian Army and other Syrian forces loyal to him; Shi’ite Iran; the 60% Shi’ite Iraq besieged by the same IS. Since September 30 Putin’s Russia has been a surprise added factor backing Assad and his allies Iran and Iraq, including the Teheran-backed Shi’ite Hezbollah, in fighting DAESH and other anti-regime terror groups in Syria. Since Russia’s entry on September 30 at the behest of the legitimate Syrian President Assad, the fortunes of Damascus have dramatically improved on the ground.
There then comes Netanyahu’s Israel, gleefully deceiving everyone, as it moves its own agenda in Syria. Netanyahu has recently made public strategic alliances with both Saudi Arabia’s Salman and with Turkey’s Erdoğan. Add to that Israel’s recent discovery of “huge” oil reserves in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights being illegally claimed by them, discovered we are told by the Israeli affiliate of a little-known spooky New Jersey oil company, Genie Energy, on whose board sits Dick Cheney, Jacob Lord Rothschild and former CIA head James Woolsey.
The fourth group is for the moment playing the most sly, deceptive role of all. It is led by Washington, and using the French, British and German entry into active military actions in Syria. Washington is preparing a devastating trap that will catch the foolish Saudis and their Turkish and other Wahhabite allies in a devastating defeat in Syria and Iraq that will no doubt then be proclaimed as “victory over terrorism” and “victory for the Syrian people.”
Pour it all together, shake vigorously, and you have the ingredients for the most explosive world war cocktail since 1945.
Deceptive Saudi ‘Anti-terror’ Coalition
On December 15, Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman announced the formation of what he called an “Islamic Anti-Terror Coalition.” Officially it will be headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Salman, refusing to be concrete as to which “terrorists” he has in mind targeting with military action, declared his coalition would “go after” terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.
The list of 34 coalition members, besides Saudi Arabia, includes Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Somalia, Guinea, the Palestinian National Authority, the Union of the Comoros, Cote d ‘Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Maldives, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Yemen. Ten other Islamic countries, including Indonesia, have expressed their support.
Saudi’s Prince Salman stated in an official release that the 34 Sunni states will act, “to counteract terrorism, which became a threat to the interests of the Islamic nation, on the basis of the right of peoples for self-defense.” The term Islamic nation might be better translated as Islamic State as in IS.
Notable about this Saudi coalition of her Sunni allied states across the Islamic world is the complete absence of any states of the Shi’ite Islam group including Iran, Iraq and of course, Bashar al Assad’s Syria.
The name of the coalition, the Islamic Anti-Terror Coalition, is also notable. Sounding suspiciously like the terminology of Russia’s quite different war against anti-regime terrorist groups in Syria, the Saudis do not consider DAESH to be terrorists. They are made up of a significant number of Wahhabite Saudi nationals and financed with Saudi money to a major degree, as well as Qatari money, in order to topple the Assad regime and make way for a Saudi-controlled entity ruling Syria, or, at least, a major part of its oil regions. For the Saudis, those who support the “infidel” Assad are the real “terrorists.”
The key players in the new Riyadh “anti-terror” coalition are Erdoğan’s Turkey and Prince Salman’s Saudi Arabia. They plan to redraw the 1916 division of the Ottoman Middle East to suit their foolish ambitions to become “respected” world powers. Each is acting for his own motives of money and power, neither having the slightest thing to do with sincere religious belief.
The Saudi’s Sunni Wahhabi Islam variant is what can only be called a pre-feudal Bedouin ideology, much like that of ISIL or DAESH, where extreme Sharia law, including public head and hand chopping, are regular fare; where women are treated as chattel somewhere near or even below the status of cattle or camels in rights and respect. It is a fanatical racist ideology where they merrily destroy historical monuments such as the ISIL demolition of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, some 3,300 years old.
So, there is little Saudi interest in destroying DAESH, perhaps if anything, fencing it later in to a piece of Syrian desert free of oil, instead, after its usefulness has been depleted. In the meantime the Saudi plan envisions using DAESH for ethnic cleansing of the legitimate Syrian populations in the oil-rich regions and potential natural gas pipeline regions that would flow from Qatar via Saudi across part of now-Syria into Erdogan’s Turkey to service the EU growing gas demand.
Erdoğan-Saudi War Aims
Erdoğan’s Turkish military and most especially his Turkish intelligence, MIT, headed by close crony, Hakan Fidan, is playing a key role in the planned Saudi-Turk-Qatari coalitions move to destroy the regime of Assad and at the same time seize control for them of the rich oil fields of Iraq between Mosul and Kirkuk.
In an October 18, 2015 interview with the Turkish news agency, Anadoly, Fidan stated the open Turkish support for DAESH: “The Islamic Emirate [IS-w.e.] is a reality and we must accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organized and popular institution as the Islamic State is. Therefore, I urge my colleagues in the West to revise their mindset on Islamic political currents, to put aside their cynical mentality and thwart Putin plans to crush the Islamist Syrian revolutionaries.” In other words, for Turkey as for Saudi Arabia, DAESH is not a terrorist organization, nor Al Nusrah Front, rather they are “Islamist Syrian revolutionaries” fighting the “infidel” Assad regime and its Russian ally. Hakan Fidan’s involvement in the illegal downing of the Russian SU-24 in November in Syrian airspace is indication of what will come.
Not only is Erdoğan’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, involved in illegally exporting the stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil, Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, was named by the President to be Turkish Energy Minister the day after the Turkish shooting of the SU-24, and it was Turkish Grey Wolves terrorists in Syria who murdered the SU-24 Russian pilot.
The recent unwanted Turkish military incursion into Iraq’s Mosul region as well shows that Turkey will be the battering ram of the planned Saudi conquest of Syrian and Iraqi oilfields, wrapped in the banner of Jihad and Allah. Whether Pakistani fighters join or those of other less-trained Arab militaries, is secondary at this point.
Deceptive US Peace Talks
Washington at this point appears to have organized a near-perfect deceptive maneuver to set the stage for the imminent Saudi-Turk debacle in Syria and Iraq. Using the efforts of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) whose members are the Arab League, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States, Washington Secretary of State John Kerry has just secured Russian UN Security Council agreement to what sounds on the surface like a positive final process to end the Syrian war in the coming six months.
Meeting in New York on December 18, the UN Security Council, including Russia and China, unanimously adopted Resolution 2254 (2015), “Endorsing Road Map for Peace Process in Syria, Setting Timetable for Talks.” The UNSC resolution 2254 is a devilish document as it calls for an immediate ceasefire in Syria of all signatories. That ceasefire excludes Saudi and Turkey-backed DAESH, and the Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra Front. At the same time, it calls for an immediate, simultaneous start of a “political transition” which means completely contradictory things for the United States, Germany, France and the UK as it does for Syria, Iran, and Russia.
The Washington coalition also demands an immediate start of the creation within six months of a Syrian regime without Assad. George Soros, are you ready to do your “human rights and democracy” stuff in Syria, man?
That ceasefire and simultaneous political transition to Washington’s “moderate Syrian opposition” will force Russia, Syrian government, Hezbollah and Iran military actions to halt, while Saudi-Turkish-Qatari DAESH and Al Qaeda Al Nusra Front and allied terror bands will have free reign to grab the oil riches of Syria and then of northern Iraq. At that point, the trap will have been set and Washington will no doubt spring it, with Russia, Iran and Assad able to do little to prevent it. The smashing of the DAESH alliance will have untold consequences for the future of the Middle East, especially for former US “allies” Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.