New Publication WPCS | Russian Investment in Syrian Phosphate: Opportunities and Challenges | Al-Allaf, Said

MEDirections is delighted to share a new Policy Brief from the Wartime and Post Conflict in Syria project (WPCS)

While analysts regularly point out that Russia is seizing Syrian’s natural resources including phosphates as a compensation for its costly military intervention to support Damascus, the question arises how these resources are managed and at what cost. This paper begins with a description of Russia’s investment in Syrian phosphate, from the mines and the fertiliser plant in Homs governorate to the exporting port of Tartous. It then addresses the main security and economic challenges facing the Russian investment, including the means to protect the production chain in an insecure environment and the consequences of privatisation on the socio-economic situation of Syrian workers. The paper is based on secondary literature and on a dozen interviews with Syrian workers, employees and military members involved in the phosphate production chain between June and December 2020.