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Syrian Gridlock is 'All About the Fight For Oil, Not Religious Principles'

© AFP 2021 / YOUSSEF KARWASHAN Oil well pumps are seen in the Rmeilane oil field in Syria's northerneastern Hasakeh province on July 15, 2015
Oil well pumps are seen in the Rmeilane oil field in Syria's northerneastern Hasakeh province on July 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The Syrian crisis is nothing but a "game for control over oil riches," where religious and other issues are only used as a pretext, according to William Engdahl, a political analyst for the opinion website New Eastern Outlook.

Russian Su-25 attack aircraft take off from the Khmeimim airbase in Syria. - Sputnik International
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In an interview with Sputnik, William Engdahl, a political analyst for the opinion website New Eastern Outlook, gave his thoughts on the Syrian gridlock, which he sees as a conflict over the country's oil riches, with religious and other issues only being used as a pretext.

The interview came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry called for the next round of the Syria peace talks to start quickly.

In a phone conversation late on Friday, the two reaffirmed their commitment to mutual cooperation to ensure the end of hostilities in Syria as soon as possible.

© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarA Syrian boy rides a bicycle through a devastated part of the old city of Homs, Syria, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
A Syrian boy rides a bicycle through a devastated part of the old city of Homs, Syria, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 - Sputnik International
A Syrian boy rides a bicycle through a devastated part of the old city of Homs, Syria, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

Engdahl, for his part, said that the current events in Syria should, first of all, be seen as a fierce struggle for control of the country's oil resources.

"It's a fight for the oil, it's not a fight not for the religious principles. Essentially, it's a game for control over Syria's oil riches, nothing more than that," Engdahl pointed out.

He remained downbeat about the future of the Syria peace talks, saying that "everybody is lying to everybody", with the United States, for example, already discussing a possible partition of Syria in the event that the talks come to a standstill.

A Turkish soldier gestures while standing on the hill overlooking damaged buildings following heavy fighting between government troops and Kurdish fighters in the Kurdish town of Cizre in southeastern Turkey, which lies near the border with Syria and Iraq, on March 2, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has said in an interview with Arab media that the next round of the intra-Syrian talks is due to be held on March 10.

The latest round, more than a month after de Mistura suspended the previous sit-down, comes as Russia and the United States reached an agreement on the ceasefire in Syria that took effect on February 27.

The cessation of hostilities is generally holding across the country despite minor reported violations.

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