As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to top the world agenda, things are getting more and more complicated in the Middle East. Even the risk of a new conflict can no longer be ignored as U.S. presidential elections loom.
With a statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this week, we learned that, following in the footsteps of France, a new country has been added to the list of parties trading illegally in our region.
The statement from the Foreign Affairs is as follows: “It is reported in the press that the "Syrian Democratic Forces", which is led by PKK/YPG terrorist organization, signed a contract with "Delta Crescent Energy LLC", a US-based company, for oil extraction, processing and trade in north eastern parts of Syria.”
This means that a U.S. company, which is subject to U.S. laws and is responsible for reporting its international operations to the relevant U.S. authorities, has a petroleum extraction, processing and trading agreement with the PKK/YPG /SDF, which has been an affiliate for a terrorist group that’s been active for 40 years.
Let's call things by their names. This is directly financing terrorism. The precedent for the United States in signing such an agreement is against the United Nations Convention and the NATO Treaty. It is a crime under international law.
And while carrying this out through a private company is an attempt at covering up what’s actually going on, the oil in question is the underground wealth of a nation.
This oil, which will be extracted and sold illegally, is in a way nothing more than “stolen goods” and companies and countries that have not only extracted and sold but also purchased these goods will have been parties to this crime.
In the immedate aftermath of the explosion in the Port of Beirut, numerous questions and conspiracy theories started to circulate online. Regardless of whether this explosion is the result of negligence or an attack, there are very important issues that we need to address and be mindful of.
The history of the Port of Beirut dates back to the 15th century BC. Beirut has been one of the most important commercial and economic hubs of the region since then.
Beirut Port together with the city of Beirut through the port is a very important gateway to the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Jordan and Syria.
It is one of the most important points of the historical Silk Road since the time of geographical discoveries. It is even crucial for China's new project "Belt and Road". The port and its expansion, which were modernized after the civil war in 1990, remained commercially and economically important despite all the turmoil and conflict.
However, it is not operable at the moment and it will not be economically possible to rebuild it for a long time, both technically and if we are to look at the economic problems that Lebanon currently faces.
Other important and major ports in the region include; Haifa, Latakia and Mersin. It is known that the situation in Latakia has not been very favorable since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. On the other hand, 29.5 million tons of cargo pass through Haifa Port, which is under the control of the Israeli government.
It is clear that this number will increase with the Beirut Port out of order. Another critical point in the region is Mersin Port. Recent developments show that extra care must be taken to protect the security of Turkey's Mersin and Iskenderun ports.