That American involvement in the Syrian Civil War is ‘actually all about the oil’ has been a reoccurring conspiracy theory throughout the nine-year conflict.

A look at the facts shows how largely baseless the theory actually is. Syria is no ‘black gold’ El-Dorado. Its reserves and production are puny: key pre-2011 operators Total and Shell had struggled to offset output decline. Reserves look especially meagre when compared to those of the key external protagonists in the post-2011 Syria conflict: Russia, Iran, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia (Turkey is an exception). If you wanted to spend billions on conflict in the hope of reaping a bounty in oil or other natural resources, Syria is not the place you’d do it. (CONTINUED - 498 WORDS)