Approximately 15,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, have been killed by the vicious war that Bashar al-Assad has waged against his own people. It’s a massacre made possible by conflict oil.
We’ve already highlighted how diesel from OPEC member Venezuela has kept Assad’s war machine fueled and primed for slaughter, defying worldwide attempts to embargo the dictator.
Now, Foreign Policy magazine has itemized all the murderous weapons that Russian conflict oil has helped provide. They include:
• Attack helicopters, such as the ones the army has used against civilians in Idlib and Allepo.
• Tanks — thousands of them — that Russia continues to upgrade upon request by Syria’s military. Another 200 tanks are en route right now from Russia to Assad’s death squads.
• Devastatingly powerful mortars and shells — including the 240mm mortar, the world’s largest, capable of delivering 280 lbs of explosives over six miles — fired by tanks into civilian centres such as Homs.
• GRAD multiple launch missile systems, capable of firing 40 missiles up to 20 miles — “a devastating and inherently indiscriminate weapon.”
• Landmines, which have helped Assad weaponize his borders with Turkey and Lebanon, trapping citizens and stopping their flight to safer countries, while also obstructing the flow of aid into the country.
• And most chillingly, chemical weapons, including mustard gas and nerve gas. So far, there’s no sign that Assad has resorted to gassing his own people, but you never know. Another conflict oil club alumnus, Saddam Hussein, did just that in 1988, damning thousands of Iraqi Kurds to horrific, painful deaths. Whenever conflict and oil mix, there’s no limit to how monstrous things can get.