In Syria, Russian and Iranian Economic Interests Clash
Iran’s growing military presence in Syria overlays its involvement in the economy of the civil war-torn country
Doron Peskin | 13:12 12.02.2018
Iran’s growing military presence in Syria overlays its involvement in the economy of the civil war-torn country. Since 2011, Iran has invested an estimated $20 billion in military and economic aid for Syria, as part of a plan to expand its interests once the violence there subsides.
For daily updates, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.Over the weekend, the Israeli Air-Force launched an attack on Iranian targets in Syria, its largest scale airstrike against Syria since the 1982 Israel-Lebanon war. On Saturday, Israel dispatched several F-16 jets to attack Iranian position in Syria in response to an Iranian drone infiltration into Israeli airspace earlier that day. Syrian anti-aircraft fire downed one of the jets, prompting a second, larger Israeli attack in Syria later that day. Israel said it hit 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, including Syrian air defense systems.
In recent years, Syria repaid Iran for its military and financial support by signing over the rights for the processing of Syrian agricultural land to Iranian companies and by giving Iranian mining companies the rights to some of the country’s natural resources mines, including phosphate mines located near the ancient city of Palmyra, near Homs. The Assad regime has also looked the other way as Iranian citizens have methodically taken over real estate in Syria.Both Iran and Russia are preparing for the “day after” by establishing their grasp over the local economy. The two countries will likely participate in bankrolling rehabilitation efforts in the country. It is yet to be seen what valuable resources Syria will have to sign over in return. Doron Peskin is an analyst of Middle Eastern economies and the head of Concord MENA, a company specializing in public sentiment analysis of Arab countries.
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