Syria has three things that the West doesn’t want:
- A sovereign bank that both the IMF and World Bank want removed. Not just BTW: Syria has no IMF debt.
- Massive oil and gas reserves (particularly gas)
- A desire to not be dependent on the West. There are two proposed gas pipelines through Syria. One supported by the US, one supported by Russia/Iran. Syria chose the latter.
Soon after the decision in (3), our demonization of Assad and calls for his overthrow began. Occam’s razor indeed.