Author Archives: Jihad Yazigi

Time to pipe up

Time to pipe up

Competition over energy resources has played a major role in the power struggles of the Middle East over the last half century. However, its importance in the Syrian conflict remains difficult to adequately assess.Syria lies at a crossroads of energy export routes and various pipelines, existing or under plan, across its territory. The most significant

Syria’s hunger games

In an alarming report published early July, the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned of the catastrophic state of the Syrian agricultural sector and of the serious threat that the decline in farming production presents to the population’s    food supply. The crisis is so serious that

Inflating Syria’s crisis

The Syrian government announced in June the imposition of new restrictions on private sector imports, a move that reflects the authorities’ growing nervousness as all economic and financial indicators are in the red. In a decision issued on June 10, Syria’s Ministry of Economy and Trade required all traders to apply for an import license

The Lebanese can benefit from Syria’s chaos

Syria’s ongoing destruction has impacted the Lebanese economy in various ways, but its eventual reconstruction could bring rich opportunities to its smaller neighbor. The first two years of the Syrian conflict have seen a massive influx of refugees who have added to the large, existing Syrian workforce. According to Lebanese government estimates, more than 1

The EU’s pointless oil gesture

On April 22, the European Union lifted its embargo on Syria’s oil exports to enable the purchase of crude oil from the opposition. The diplomatic move also permitted the sale of oil equipment to the opposition and allow the investment in oil fields located in rebel-held areas. Sanctions imposed by the EU in September 2011

Syria can’t afford to break apart

As violence expands across Syria, fears over the future of the country are increasing. They range from the potential use of chemical weapons in the conflict to the unleashing of a full-fledged sectarian war and to the potential disintegration and partition of the country along sectarian and ethnic lines. Regarding the latter risk, it is

Syria’s fallen symbols of state

  The Euphrates Dam, once the most potent symbol of the centrally planned development policies of the Syrian Baath Party, was taken over by rebel forces in early February. The fall of the dam is one of many recent successes of the opposition in the resource-rich northeast, which is now almost entirely out of the

Paving a new silk road

The signing of several economic agreements on January 16 between Iran and Syria confirmed the persistently strong strategic relations between the two countries. However, contrary to a widely held belief, and to the claims of the two governments, bilateral trade ties have historically been very limited. Hence, in 2010, according to Syrian government statistics, bilateral

Entering subsistence

One of the main questions surrounding the Syrian uprising at the beginning of 2012 was if and when an economic collapse would occur. As the year draws to a close, the question has instead become whether one can still talk of “a” Syrian economy as such. What remains of the country’s formal economy has seriously

A decline into uprising

While there is a general consensus that the uprising gripping Syria since March 2011 is part of the broader regional movement for better governance and more freedoms, there has been little debate as to the extent to which the economic and social conditions prevailing in the country contributed to the uprising. The question of whether