• We should be concerned about various new troop deployments in Iraq as the battlefield is carved up. A few hundred Turkish troops with tanks, artillery, intelligence officers and warplanes have now headed across the border, setting up camp around Mosul, which sits in the disputed territory between the Iraqi central government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). We should particularly be concerned because Turkey has clearly been propping up ISIS, and Mosul is a key venue for fighting ISIS in Iraq. No one wants Turkey here, particularly when its agenda in Mosul is unclear and could work to ISIS’ favor.
• Kurdish airspace is fast becoming the staging ground for a dangerous showdown, with both Turkish and Russian forces making fly overs. The Kurds have asked the Russians to avoid using their airspace for operations in Syria.
• Another cause for concern is what appears to be Russia’s weapons showmanship using strategic bombers and sea-launched cruise missiles for long-distance target strikes. Brought up by the Jamestown Foundation, the overall sentiment is that Russia is taking advantage of the Syrian conflict to test new weapons systems, in part to measure the reaction of the other players in this conflict.
Tenders & Auctions
• For its 23rd licensing round, Norway has received applications on 57 blocks or portions of blocks from 26 oil and gas companies. In total, up from licensing were 57…