In the 18 months since the Syrian strife began in earnest human rights groups claim that some 30,000 people have been killed so far and some 350,000 Syrians have fled their country seeking refuge in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. If the current pace of refugees continues – and there is nothing to indicate it will abate anytime soon -- human rights groups and the UN relief agencies anticipate that number to jump to a staggering 700,000 people by the end of this year. In a country with a total population of some 20 million, those are frightful numbers. Those are frightful numbers by any means and with winter just around the corner the fate of the refugees becomes even more concerning.
While Syria may not be a major oil producer, it does however have some oil, though not abundantly, therefor placing the country in a non-strategic second-tier position, as far as the interests of the United States and its allies in the region are concerned. Nevertheless, it is Syria’s geographic location on the old caravan route between Turkey and Arabia, or as it used to be known in the days of old, between Constantinople and the Hijaz -- that still holds the same strategic importance today as it did in the days of the caravan trains. (RELATED: All You Need to Know About LNG)