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Global Energy Advisory April 1th 2016

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• With a great deal of help from Russia, the Assad regime has recaptured the strategic city of Palmyra from the Islamic State—a victory that should indeed to go the Russians, along with a smattering of Syrian special forces, Hezbollah forces, Iranian special forces and Iraqi Shi’ite militias. According to Assad, this victory, more than anything, demonstrated the half-hearted attempt by the global U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The Western media, of course, does not know how to deal with this as the gray areas are too wide. The problem they find themselves in is that the Assad regime, and Russia, as well as (uncomfortably) Hezbollah and Iran, are coming out as the good guys in this story—the only ones who have seriously confronted the terrorist threat. Not acknowledging this means evokes some equally uncomfortable realities about our fight against the Islamic State, as well as Turkey’s intentions. A lot of the geopolitics that will now arise will have to do with who is on the right side of history here, and it’s a tough case to make.

• Baghdad has bitten back at the Iraqi Kurds’ gamble on unilateral exports, and the bite is hurting a bit more than usual. The Kurds were hoping to add 150,000 barrels per day to their supply this year, but it’s now looking like it will be about 100,000 bpd at best. In the meantime, Baghdad is keeping 150,000 bpd…

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