How many times are we told that we must oppose military interventions because they are a conspiracy to take control of Middle East oil? Now the Russians are doing it in Syria, where are the No Blood For Oil placards?
Actually the naval base at Tartus may be strategically more important to them. The billions of dollars of weaponry they have sold to Assad of course dwarf all the shipments all the rebel factions have received, but still it is the latter that "anti-war" activists focus on stopping.
"From Mig-29 fighters to Yak-130 training jets, armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs, the total value of Syrian contracts with the Russian defense industry likely exceeds $4 billion as of 2013.
Likewise, Russian state-owned firm Soyuzneftegaz recently signed a $100 million exploration deal with Damascus to explore offshore drilling opportunities in the Levant basin. While a $100 million contract is small by oil and gas standards, the recent massive gas finds in the Israeli and Cypriot sections of the Eastern Mediterranean shelf hint at the potential that Russia wants to cash in on. Russia has long been keen to protect Gazprom's lucrative gas sales to the European market, and the Soyuzneftegaz-Syria deal is one way for Russia to hedge its bets regarding the sources of gas it can sell to Europe."