“Russia is asking the U.N. Security Council to condemn the illegal sale of Syrian oil by terrorist groups and encourage all countries to take “necessary measures” to prevent it. A draft presidential statement circulated to council members and obtained Monday by The Associated Press expresses “grave concern” at the seizure of oilfields in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra and stresses that any export or import of crude oil without authorization of a sovereign state is illegal………….”
“Militants, who declared an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, now claimed to have seized Syria’s largest oilfield. Fighters of the Islamic State, previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), said they took over the al-Omar oil field in the eastern Deir al-Zour province from rival rebel groups. Video footage uploaded online showed armed Islamic State jihadist standing in front of the entrance of the field as the group’s flag flew over a sign reading “Euphrates Oil Company – al-Omar field…………….”
The Wahhabi Jihadists are nowhere near Iraq’s major oil fields, but they have grabbed some Syrian oil fields. Apparently there is worry that they will soon start shipping Syrian oil to buyers. There is a precedent for this: already foreign buyers are eager to buy oil controlled by Kurdish separatists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turks and among those mentioned in reports. Already Benyamin Netanyahu, sensing a future opportunity, has blessed the Kurdish ‘enterprise’ when he opined (without being asked) that they should be able to go independent. Netanyahu, who is not known to observe international legal niceties anymore than his neighbors, would not accept the same independent ‘fate’ for Palestinians.
Would an Islamic State be in the future of OPEC? Fortunately not: the Jihadists may harass the vast border region between Syria and Iraq for a few more years, but they may have reached their peak during the last week of June 2014. From now on, it may be the period of pushback in both Iraq and Syria. The hairy ones are likely to get squeezed on two fronts now, with their ‘realm’ getting smaller. If the tribes turn against them, they may be fighting on three fronts. That would be an untenable situation if their suppliers and enablers in Turkey and some Arab states tighten the squeeze on the flow of supplies and fighters. Even the mighty Wehrmacht could not withstand a multi-front war for long.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum