Syria, in its current status, is a bleeding country. As the civil war in Syria continues and the political instability became a status quo, the Syrian economy is crumbling and the entire country must rebuild again when the war is over. According to the World Bank, Syria cost of rehabilitation is estimated at half a trillion dollars, with some estimates a total cost of trillion dollars. Russia and Iran prepare to take control over the economic resources of Syria, which can enrich both countries with an enormous amount of money.
Bashar Al Assad is facing a war inside his country and a constant pressure from Iran, Russia, and Turkey for the post-war next steps.
Russia’s military strategy in Syria
Russia has several interests in Syria – one of them is the military intervention that provides Russia with its only military base in the Middle East including a Russian military port in the Middle East sea which so far was controlled by NATO, the United States, and Israel. After Russia established permanent military bases in Syria, the Russians involvement in the civil war was inevitable as the rebels are supported by Suadi Arabia and Western countries.
It seems that Russia became the big protective brother in the Russia-Syria political relationship. And in this new reality, Russia will be the economic power to rebuild the Syrian economy and infrastructures when the war will come to end. According to several reports, Russian companies will rebuild the new airports, train railways, energy facilitations, and other projects.
Iran – The contractor of Syria
Iran’s economic interest in Syria is to become the contractor of the rebuilding of Syria. The diplomatic connection between Iranian ministers and Syrian officials in 2018 assure that Iran’s companies, which some of them owned by the regime, will be responsible for some of Syria’s most important rebuilding projects. Iran also has a high interest to enrich its nuclear program and after Donald Trump reimposed sanctions against Iran, Syria is now a front organization for the Iranian regime to transact with international companies and governments.
In terms of military strategy, Iran is building bases in Syria to establish its power in the Middle East and in particular versus Israel, an act that might spark a military clash with Israel.
In return, Iran provides military and financial backing to Assad’s regime versus the rebels, including the Lebanese Hezbollah movement.
Syria is not a small country in size and population and its strategic location creates competition among Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The most important battle between Iran and Russia is the energy sector as both countries are oil and gas producers.
Who will fund Syria rebuilding?
Another important factor is the sharing costs of Syria’s rebuilding. As western countries are out of the picture and Iran, Turkey and Russia economies are crumbling, China is most likely will join the party. China opposed the American sanctions on Iran and remains an importer of the Iranian oil. Therefore, the Chinese will support Iran’s ambitions to rebuild Syria.
Although Bashar Al Assad has serious domestic problems and a civil war that does not come to an end – if he will manage to sit on the throne, Assad and Syria will be the most demanded product in the Middle East. There are billion dollars projects in Syria – Iran, Russia, Turkey, and China are there to make it happen.