Oil Rises and Equities Fall as Tension Builds Over Syria

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It seems like it’s only a matter of time before international diplomacy breaks under the immense geopolitical tension building in the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against opposition forces, in the process committing “indiscriminate slaughter of civilians.”

“By any standard, it is inexcusable,” he said at the State Department in Washington on Monday. “It is undeniable.”

The situation has satisfied the conditions for U.S. military intervention in the region, and reports from nearly every corner of the world indicate that some sort of action is imminent. Syria — which is bordered by Iraq on the east, Turkey on the north, and touches Israel on the southwest — has been engaged in a brutal civil war for more than two years. The country claims traditional allies such as Iran, China, Venezuela, and Russia, and has been led by President Bashar al-Assad since 2000.

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