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Is a Syrian uprising taking a momentous turn -- the last threads of support for Syrian president Bashar Al aside it looks to be unraveling.
For the first time the Russian government one of -- -- staunchest allies says his regime could fall.
Is this sign that its collapse is finally near and what this is all mean for Middle East energy security let's -- Farmers senior naval analyst with the institute for the study of war Chris welcome thanks for joining us tonight.
Sudden it's would you be -- -- thanks for having me so at first glance here it would have Pratt what appear that there is is serious.
Turn being made and is Syrian uprising.
Well first off let's recognize that this is a a -- that's been going on for two years and there's a lot of actual victims here 40000 dead at least.
Perhaps even -- several million displaced so -- hearts go out to them and our thoughts are with them.
It's always good to remember the actual human cost of warfare -- -- said.
We've been hearing for quite some time that that -- -- on the verge of collapse and he's still hanging on.
This this break by the Russian government in its political support for -- side.
It is definitely important but I don't think that we can go from there to -- aside is on the verge of collapse.
Well let me share with that with our audience some some of those words that we are hearing from Russia the rapper -- Russian deputy foreign minister.
-- saying today quote unfortunately.
It is -- impossible to exclude a victory of the Syrian opposition.
He's -- Are harsh words in it isn't change and turn it from Syria's ally -- that we've heard in the past how much of the game changer is this.
What's important to remember that Russia's interest here it is not necessarily protecting aside the individual.
Or even the -- white regime in Syria us of Russia's interest is twofold.
First there 100000 Russian passport holders in Syria.
I'm not saying these are all Russian citizens but there's about fifteen years of history between Russia and Syria.
And so you've got the tremendous.
Financial military -- security relationship there.
And as a result of that there's about a 100000 Russians living in Syria.
So Russia's first priority is to make sure that their citizens or passport holders are -- the secondary issue is the Russian naval base -- tears.
It is entirely possible that aside could fall the regime could fall and Russia would still be able to protect its interest.
Up until now Russia has focused on maintaining -- -- in power.
It looks like they may be opened the possibility that they can protect their interests without protecting aside.
So let's business -- -- -- here's some words from the NATO Secretary General -- music and -- saying quote urging Alice side by the way to initiate a process to accommodate the legitimate aspirations.
Of the Syrian people.
Reading that I'm not sure exactly what that would entail how do you see it.
I see that is NATO hoping for something that's simply not going to happen -- -- been these sub family's been in power for quite some time in Syria.
They have no intentions of leaving peacefully.
And the fact the matter is there may not be an easy out for the Asad regime there may be nowhere for them to fall back to or escape to.
Because of the country's demographics because of how -- woven.
Ethnicity surprise religions -- setter or there's really no easy answer for aside to disengage from this.
So -- everyone wants a peaceful solution I just don't see that.
As a viable outcome at this point -- in terms of NATO.
They are pushing very hard to protect the interest of Turkey which is a member of NATO.
We're pushing very hard to make sure that the violence doesn't spillover that is one -- silver lining in this cloud of gray is that the violence in -- so far.
Has not spilled over into either Jordan or -- portrait.
And that's a great point is that the the oil rich nations that -- Syria or perhaps more important in Syria itself.
You oil production that we see from Syria's rather insignificant.
And since all this started has diminished.
-- very much over time to just a 160000.
But -- surrounding nations obviously very crucial as they are -- gateways for that oil to get to other places.
Yeah absolutely we've seen two major developments -- three in fact the first is that Syrian oil production.
Peaked at about 600000 barrels back in the mid ninety's fell to about 400000 barrels a couple years ago.
It's down to below 200000 barrels -- -- so it's really insignificant in terms of the world markets.
What is significant however is you've seen to.
Major developments in Israel first they found significant offshore gas fields that Tamar and leviathan gas fields.
And second the Israelis have done a fantastic job at partnering with separate nations.
To spread their risk economically and to guarantee those supplies.
In terms of security so -- mail.
The Tamar and leviathan gas fields are being co produced.
-- is -- and Noble Energy out of Houston.
And then Israel is cutting -- Cyprus -- -- in on the deal there was some confusion or some conflict as to.
Who's -- exclusive economic zone these gas fields -- -- Israel got ahead of that conflict and kind of cut Greece and series does Cyprus.
Into the deal so they -- they would be parting with Israel to exploit these fields rather than competing with the real.
Bought the rapidly developing story and to put it ends NATO Secretary General -- -- since word -- -- I think now it's only a matter of time.
So we'll continue to follow that story thank you so much for joining us tonight Chris Harmer.
Think -- -- pleasure being here.
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