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Violent Clashes Break Out In Syria Despite Ceasefire

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

- Clashes have broken out between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces today, disrupting a shaky ceasefire that Trump announced as a victory yesterday, and as permanent. That announcement also came with the lifting of US sanctions against Turkey for its incursion into Syria. Russian military police deployed in the northeast border town of Kobane on Thursday under a deal with Turkey to drive out Kurdish fighters. After having stepped aside and announced a mass withdrawal from Syria to allow the Turks to pour across the border and attack the Kurds, US foreign policy is now confused at best. Late yesterday, talk again arose of a US rethink that may see tanks and heavy equipment deployed to keep the area’s oilfields from falling into the hands of Assad (and Russia) or ISIS. This is not, at this point, realistic: As soon as the US stepped aside and betrayed the Kurds who have controlled this oil, it was destined to go back to Assad. This will be a highly dynamic flashpoint in the coming weeks and months, particularly if foreign policy out of Washington continues to waiver and backpedal.

- BP and Eni have decided to postpone further oil exploration in Libya as the security situation worsens. The project being postponed - rather indefinitely for now - is a sizable one that included 3 major exploration blocks. It is a blow to Libya, which has tried and mostly failed so far, to attract foreign oil companies to develop its significant…



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