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Global Energy Advisory June 10th 2016

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Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• The news is now flooded with the battle for Raqqa, but this isn’t the real battleground in Syria. This is largely the Western media being sucked into the elections by politicians hoping to show a real (arm chair) victory in Syria. The real battle is for Aleppo and Palmyra. Right now, the Islamic State (ISIS) has positions in Aleppo and Raqqa, linked by the strategic town of Tabqa. The Syrian Kurds are hoping to take Raqqa, with a little help from the U.S., but they remain sorely outnumbered and out-gunned. In our opinion, they have little chance of taking Raqqa. They may make some inroads, but they don’t have the support to hold it, especially not if the Turks interfere. What it tells us that Washington is hoping the Syrian Kurds can take Raqqa and that this can then be used as a base for new political entity in a divided Syria, managed by Washington—presumably as a bulwark against areas ‘managed’ by Assad (and the Russians). The Turks continue to play a dangerous game here with jihadists as they attempt to keep the Kurds from advancing.

• All eyes this week are also on Angola’s swift moves clearly designed to pave the way for the succession of the “first daughter”, whose presidential father has appointed as head of the state-run oil behemoth, Sonangol. Whether qualified or not is besides the point here. Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo…

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