Caracas: Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have signed a deal to develop three gas fields that span their maritime border and contain reserves totaling nearly 12 trillion cubic feet.
“We’ve signed the accords for (the Loran-Manatee bloc, the largest of the three), and today we signed (the accord governing) how we’re going to operate those fields,” Venezuela’s Rafael Ramirez, who heads state-owned oil giant PDVSA, said Wednesday. Continue reading
Even as much has been written about the regional and global actors pursuing their pitiless agendas in Syria, one sub-plot in the vicious drama has remained relatively unexplored. And that is the gas resource and its routes from production to the market.
The past five years have seen discoveries of immense energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean; both the Levant Basin located along the shores of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza and Cyprus and the Nile Basin north of Egypt. According to preliminary geological surveys, the Levant Basin contains 3.5 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of gas and 1.7 billion barrels (bb) of oil. The Nile Basin contains 6 tcm of gas and 1.8 bb of oil. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.
Leaked transcripts of a closed-door meeting between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan shed an extraordinary light on the hard-nosed Realpolitik of the two sides. Continue reading
Republican Guards commander says Washington should beware of ‘trespassing over the red line in Syria’
The semi-official Fars news agency, which has close ties to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, quoted Gen. Masoud Jazayeri as warning that “trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House.”Gen. Jazayeri did not provide details but said Washington is well aware of such red lines. He said the war in Syria is a product of a US plot and “regional reactionary” countries, a common reference to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Continue reading
Damascus warns ‘mass of flames will ignite Middle East’ if regime attacked; Assad’s chemical weapons use reportedly discussed in call between US and Israeli army chiefs
Israel believes that the United States will respond militarily to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, according to unnamed military sources quoted by the Hebrew website Ynet on Saturday night.
When proof surfaces that the Assad regime used chemical weapons last Wednesday, “the US will act even in the event that the UN Security Council does not take a decision to that effect,” the report claimed, citing estimations by Israeli officials. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia has re-emerged as the Middle East’s most powerful influence-peddler, with its presence being felt in both Egypt and Syria, says Richard Spencer.
It may be the least revolutionary country in the world, but this week Saudi Arabia won the full support of the world’s greatest insurrectionists. Continue reading
Islamabad, July 7 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants a mutual security pact with the United States that would compel the super power to protect Afghanistan against Pakistan.
Under the pact, the U.S., if possible, even take direct military action against Taliban havens on Pakistani soil, the New York Times quoted Afghan sources as saying. Continue reading
Despite massive spending on Western weapons, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are “unable to secure themselves from any external threat” — meaning Iran — and are running up huge public and foreign debt, a Gulf think tank says.
Omar al-Shehabi, director of the Gulf Center for Development Policies in Kuwait, said that even though the defense expenditure of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states is the highest in the world, exceeding the combined military spending of Israel and Britain, they still have to “rely on Western countries to provide military protection and security.” Continue reading
It looks as if we’ve moved from “years away from war” to months away, or even weeks. As mentioned in previous submissions, the Assad regime is not going to give up easy and is going to bring down the entire Middle East with him should he realize he has only moments left of being in power. The entire region is at a critical boiling point.
President Barack Obama’s decision to send some light weapons to Syrian rebels may be too little and too late to thwart a regime offensive to retake Aleppo, the nation’s largest city and commercial capital.
Regime forces supported by fighters from the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah have moved north after defeating rebels in al-Qusair, a setback that triggered concern in Washington that Iran and its Lebanese ally are tipping the balance in favor of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
“Arming the Syrian rebels is unlikely to tip the balance in their favor,” said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. “It might have made a difference a year ago, but, today, the Assad regime — particularly after re-taking Qusair — has the advantage.” Continue reading
Fire Dog Lake’s Kevin Gosztola notes:
Linda J. Bilmes and Michael D. Intriligator, ask in a recent paper, “How many wars is the US fighting today?”
Today US military operations are involved in scores of countries across all the five continents. The US military is the world’s largest landlord, with significant military facilities in nations around the world, and with a significant presence in Bahrain, Djibouti,Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan, in addition to long-established bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and the UK. Some of these are vast, such as the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, the forward headquarters of the United States Central Command, which has recently been expanded to accommodate up to 10,000 troops and 120 aircraft. Continue reading
The past few days have been good to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. On Thursday, a domestic rival, Abbdullah Ojalan, leader of the separatist Kurds, announced a historic ceasefire, and on Friday his demands from his bitter rival Benjamin Netanyahu were conceded entirely. The precise wording of the apology, the precise phrasings that diplomats, negotiators, and presidential advisors have been laboring on for years aren’t really important. The outcome was one: Israel has apologized, and has agreed to pay compensation and take steps towards lifting the siege on Gaza.
The public enmity with Israel played well into Erdogan’s hands, who meanwhile tightened his ties with Syria’s Bashar Assad and the regime in Iran. When the uprisings of the Arab Spring unraveled, he became a hero who, despite opposing intervention in Libya – largely due to Turkey’s immense investments in the country – supported the new government there, urged Egypt’s Mubarak to resign and then quickly fostered a relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime. His shaky relationship with Jerusalem added considerable weight to his legitimacy in the Arab world, which has traditionally been suspicious of Turkey because it isn’t an Arab state and due to its close ties with Israel. Just months after the uprising began in Syria, Erdogan changed his attitude toward Assad as well. After making efforts to try and persuade Assad to carry out reforms, Erdogan realized that his personal relationship with Assad would not help him bring about changes in Syria. All of a sudden, Assad was transformed into a bitter enemy who needed to be removed, and Erdogan decided that Turkey would become a rear base for the Syrian opposition. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey now became the new axis driving events in the Middle East, with Turkey as the anchor for American policy vis-à-vis Syria, Iraq and even Iran, with which Turkey maintains widespread commercial ties despite the sanctions, having received a partial exemption. Continue reading
Both the German public and the general public have been victim of a masterful public relations campaign, aided and abetted by an Anglo-Saxon mass media terribly ignorant of true history, which has convinced the world at large of two great lies—that Germany is now a model, peaceful democratic nation, and that it is simply not capable of raising a powerful military force to be a threat, yet again, to world peace.
Yet German power can no longer be hidden. Even certain German politicians are beginning to express concerns at the scope of the nation’s weapons industry. Continue reading