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Global Energy Advisory 21st October 2016

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• The Iraqi army, with its allies from the Kurdish Peshmerga and the U.S.-led international coalition are preparing to enter Mosul, the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq, and it largest stronghold in the region at this point. The government forces have been reclaiming the territory around the city since Monday, advancing on the city from multiple directions. There are an estimated 5,000 IS militants in Mosul, some of which – the leaders – have managed to escape into Syria. If the Mosul operation ends successfully, it will largely put an end to ISIS’ official presence in Iraq—but this is not a definitive end to ISIS, which will regroup elsewhere.

• In Syria, the Syrian army and its Russian allies are on the verge of their final push into eastern Aleppo. On Thursday, a humanitarian pause was agreed, to let the civilian population evacuate before the armies “cleanse the city”. Around 900 IS members are also expected to also take advantage of the pause and will be escorted to Idlib, around 60 km from Aleppo, according to Iranian media. The Syrian-Russian operation is very likely to heighten the already substantial pressure between Moscow and Washington, especially after the declaration of “cleansing”, which will in all probability result in many civilian deaths as well. ISIS will use human shields to protect their strongholds. A humanitarian crisis is also unavoidable: Around…

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