Whether it is to cripple the will of Putin and end his support of the Syria regime (thus handing the much desired gas-pipeline traversing territory over to Qatari and/or Saudi interests), a hypothesis first presented here in September and subsequently validated by the NYT, or much more simply, just to destroy any and all marginal producers so that Saudi Arabia is once again the world’s most important and price-setting producer and exporter of oil, one thing is clear: the Saudis will not relent from pumping more oil into the market than there is (declining) demand for, until its biggest threat and competitor – the US shale patch – which recently had become the marginal oil producer, as well as its investors – mostly junk bond holders gambling with other people’s money – are crushed, driven before the Saudi royal family, and the lamentation of their women is heard across the globe.
That much is known.
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
WASHINGTON: The US military has failed to prepare a realistic “plan B” if political turmoil forces the closure of a vital naval base in Bahrain, a naval officer argues in a report released Monday.
“Surprisingly, military leaders have no ‘Plan B’ if strategic access in Bahrain is jeopardized,” McDaniel wrote, in a paper published by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. Continue reading
The US-Arab Eager Lion 2012 exercise ends Wednesday, May 30, after 12,000 mostly American as well as Saudi, Jordanian, Qatari and UAE special forces troops staged three weeks of joint maneuvers in Jordan.
In the marine section, debkafile’s military sources report, around 3,000 US, Jordanian and Saudi special forces troops of three battalions practiced landings on Jordanian beaches and the rapid seizure of fortified mountain bases and command posts on Jordanian terrain resembling the three islands commanding the Strait of Hormuz where the Revolutionary Guards have established marine bases and other parts of Iran.
Meanwhile, Eager Lion 2012 is an important adjunct to international intervention in the Arab Revolt and preparations for war with Iran.
Last Thursday, May 24, a Russian arms ship, the Professor Katsman, was detected approaching the Syrian port of Tartus. Although the crew shut down communications systems and crept forward in silence, debkafile’s intelligence sources discovered the vessel dropping anchor in the Syrian port Friday. Military equipment was then unloaded behind tarpaulin screens and transferred to waiting Syrian military truck convoys.
Our sources identified the cargo delivered as consisting of large quantities of artillery and tank shells as well as spare parts for tanks.
The North Korean arms ships Odai is also reported on its way to Tartus with hardware for the Syrian army.
Our military sources report at the same time that Syrian rebels have started using German HK MG4 machine guns in their attacks on Syrian military targets. These weapons are in service with the German Bundeswher. It is the first time German military hardware has been seen in the Middle East in the 67 years since World War II ended. It is not known how the Syrian rebels procured the guns and who is supplying them with ammo.
Full article: US-Arab exercise drills Iran landing. Syrian rebels obtain German machine guns (DEBKAfile)