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5 décembre 2015 6 05 /12 /décembre /2015 12:30
source MinDef Russie

source MinDef Russie

 

05.12.2015 RT.com

 

Téhéran possède des preuves, y compris des photos et des vidéos, du commerce illégal de brut entre les Turcs et les terroristes de l’Etat islamique (Daesh), et est prêt à dévoiler ses informations au public, a annoncé un responsable iranien.

«Si le gouvernement de la Turquie n’est pas informé du commerce que Daesh fait avec son pays, nous sommes prêts à lui présenter toutes les données que nous possédons», a déclaré vendredi soir Mohsen Rezaï, secrétaire du Conseil de discernement de l’Iran, cité par l’agence publique ARNA.

Le responsable a ajouté que l’Iran possédait des photos et des vidéos des camions de Daesh qui entraient sur le territoire turc, en notant que les autorités étaient prêtes à les diffuser.

«Des informations importantes seront bientôt présentées au public», a souligné Mohsen Rezaï, en appelant en même temps tous les pays qui luttent contre Daesh à se concentrer sur l’élimination du terrorisme.

Ces déclarations ont été faites alors que le responsable était en visite en Syrie pour rendre visite à des victimes blessées dans les violences.

En savoir plus : La Turquie fournit-elle des soins médicaux gratuits aux djihadistes syriens ?

Plus tôt ce matin, le ministère russe de la Défense a publié des plans et des photos satellite qui prouvent, pour le Kremlin, que la Turquie est la première destination du pétrole produit par Daesh qui sort en contrebande de ses territoires en Syrie et en Irak. Le ministère a également affirmé que le président turc et sa famille étaient personnellement impliqués dans ces activités.

Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a rejeté les preuves de Moscou, en l’accusant à son tour de faire du commerce de brut avec Daesh.

Entretemps, RT a parlé aux habitants de la Turquie, qui n’ont pas du tout été surpris semble-t-il des preuves présentées par Moscou.

«Je crois que Daesh et Erdogan ont une sorte de lien», a avoué un homme interrogé par notre correspondant Harry Fear dans les rues d'Istanbul. Un autre habitant de la ville a raconté que «ces rumeurs ont circulé depuis longtemps et tout le monde est au courant de ce qui se passe, mais personne n’a jusqu'à maintenant fait quoi que ce soit».

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7 septembre 2015 1 07 /09 /septembre /2015 16:30
Syrie: l'EI s'empare d'une partie d'un champ pétrolier

 

07 septembre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Beyrouth - Le groupe jihadiste Etat islamique (EI) s'est emparé d'une vaste partie du champ pétrolier de Jazal, l'un des derniers aux mains du régime, générant un arrêt de la production, a indiqué l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme lundi.

 

L'EI a pris des pans du champ - situé à une vingtaine de km au nord-ouest de Palmyre - mais le régime l'empêche toujours de se saisir du reste, a dit à l'AFP Rami Abdel Rahmane, le directeur de l'OSDH.

 

L'avancée des jihadistes dans ce champ - qu'ils avaient déjà pris et perdu en juin - a entraîné l'arrêt de la production, les employés s'enfuyant à mesure que les combats se rapprochaient, selon lui.

 

L'EI a affirmé dans un communiqué sur Twitter avoir libéré la ville de Jazal, une information confirmée par l'OSDH.

 

Le champ produisait avant la guerre environ 2.500 barils par jour (bpj), et était le dernier grand champ de Syrie encore aux mains du régime, selon M. Abdel Rahmane.

 

La production de pétrole en Syrie a plongé depuis le début de la guerre, en mars 2011. Fin 2014, elle avait chuté à 9.329 bpj contre 380.000 avant le conflit.

 

L'EI a saisi un grand nombre de champs pétroliers, notamment dans la province orientale de Deir Ezzor.

 

Le régime a cependant accès au brut pompé par les forces kurdes qui contrôlent le grand champ de Rmeilan au nord-est et y raffinent du brut.

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 13:45
(weo 2005)

(weo 2005)

Depuis plusieurs semaines, la Libye est le théâtre d'une série d'attaques revendiquées ou attribuées au groupe djihadiste EI qui contrôle des pans entiers de territoire en Syrie et en Irak.

 

09.03.2015 Le Monde.fr

 

Neuf personnes – quatre Philippins, deux Bangladeshis, un Ghanéen, un Tchèque et un Autrichien – ont été enlevés lors d'une attaque vendredi 6 mars contre le champ pétrolier Al-Ghani, dans le sud de la Libye, ont annoncé lundi les autorités philippines. L'attaque a été imputée aux djihadistes du groupe Etat islamique (EI), qui a fait huit morts parmi les gardes. Le porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères philippin, qui s'appuyait sur un rapport de l'ambassade des Philippines en Libye, a déclaré qu'il n'était pas en mesure de confirmer l'identité des ravisseurs, ajoutant qu'aucune demande n'avait été formulée par les ravisseurs.

 

Suite de l’article

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 13:30
Islamic State conflict: Deadly strike on Syria refinery

Video posted by Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently purportedly showing fireball in sky after air strike on oil refinery outside Tal Abyad, Syria (8 March 2015)

 

9 March 2015 BBC MidEast

 

At least 14 people have been killed in US-led coalition air strikes on an oil refinery in northern Syria run by Islamic State (IS), activists say.

 

Refinery workers and jihadist militants were among those who died in the raid on the facility outside Tal Abyad. One activist group posted a video purportedly showing a fireball rising into the night sky after the attack. Captured refineries and oil fields have played a key role in fuelling Islamic State's advance across Syria and Iraq. Last year, the group may have earned as much as $100m (£66m) from the sale of oil and oil products to local smugglers who, in turn, sell them to the Syrian government and merchants in neighbouring countries. However, US officials say the group's ability to use oil as a source of revenue is now believed to be diminishing due to the air strikes.

 

Read more

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 07:30
L'ONU cherche à bloquer le financement de l'Etat islamique

 

12.02.2015 Le Monde

 

Le Conseil de sécurité de l'Organisation des Nations unies cherche à asphyxier les groupes djihadistes comme l'Etat islamique (EI) ou le Front Al-Nosra. Jeudi 12 février, il a adopté à l'unanimité une résolution visant à bloquer leur financement, issu notamment de la contrebande de pétrole, du trafic d'antiquités et de rançons réclamées à la suite d'enlèvements.

 

Ce texte, présenté à l'initiative de la Russie, alliée de Damas, a été coparrainé par trente-sept pays, dont les principaux protagonistes du conflit syrien (Syrie, Etats-Unis, Royaume-Uni, France, Irak, Iran et Jordanie notamment). Il demande aux Etats de geler les avoirs de ces groupes qui combattent le régime syrien, de ne pas commercer directement ou indirectement avec eux et de contrôler le trafic de camions passant notamment par la frontière turque. La résolution étend à la Syrie l'interdiction de faire commerce de biens culturels volés, qui s'appliquait déjà à l'Irak. Les contrevenants s'exposent, en principe, à des sanctions.

 

Lire notre analyse (édition abonnés) : L'or noir, arme stratégique de l'Etat islamique

 

UN MILLION DE DOLLARS PAR JOUR

Selon des experts, le groupe Etat islamique tirerait près de un million de dollars par jour de la vente de pétrole à de nombreux intermédiaires privés. Mais ces revenus ont été amenuisés sous l'effet des bombardements de la coalition internationale, qui ont détruit des raffineries, et surtout par la baisse du cours du brut.

Cette initiative accroît la pression sur les djihadistes, qui, selon des responsables américains, ont commencé à perdre du terrain en Syrie et sont menacés d'une offensive terrestre en Irak.

 

Lire : L’Etat islamique sort-il affaibli de la bataille de Kobané ?


 
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12 décembre 2014 5 12 /12 /décembre /2014 17:30
Syrie: l'UE interdit de livrer du carburant pour moteurs à réaction

 

BRUXELLES, 12 décembre - RIA Novosti

 

L'Union européenne a interdit de livrer à la Syrie du carburant pour moteurs à réaction, a annoncé à RIA Novosti une source au sein de l'UE.

"Le Conseil de l'UE a aujourd'hui interdit d'exporter vers la Syrie du carburant  pour moteurs à réaction, ainsi que des additifs spécifiques", a déclaré la source.

Selon lui, cette décision fait suite aux ententes politiques intervenues lors de la rencontre des chefs de diplomatie de l'UE tenue en octobre dernier.

"Le Conseil a adopté cette mesure pour la seule raison que ce carburant est utilisé par les forces aériennes du régime d'Assad qui effectuent des frappes aériennes désordonnées contre les civils", a affirmé l'interlocuteur de l'agence.

D'après lui, les documents juridiques autorisant cette interdiction, ainsi que les types de carburant et d'additifs interdits seront publiés le 13 décembre au Journal officiel de l'UE. La nouvelle sanction entrera en vigueur le 14 décembre.

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12 décembre 2014 5 12 /12 /décembre /2014 12:30
How is Islamic State funded? Interactive video


12 dec. 2014 by Michael Hirst and John Lawrence

 

Islamic State initially relied on wealthy private donors in the Middle East keen to oust Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

 

It now makes between $846,000 (£540,000) and $1.645m (£1.05m) a day selling oil from fields in Syria and Iraq.

Middlemen smuggle crude oil and refined products to Turkey and Iran, or sell them to the Syrian government.

Kidnapping has also generated at least $20m (£12.7m) in ransom payments in 2014, according to the US Treasury.

Islamic State raises several million dollars per month through extorting the eight million people under its full or partial control.

Payments are extracted from those who pass through, conduct business in, or simply live in IS territory.

Religious minorities have been forced to pay a special tax, convert to Islam or leave.

Islamic State also profits from robbing banks, looting and selling antiquities, and stealing or controlling the sale of livestock and crops.

Abducted girls and women have allegedly been sold as sex slaves.

Some funding is still derived from wealthy donors and Islamic charities in the Middle East and Europe.

 

How does the group make its money? Watch this interactive video to find out

 

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8 octobre 2014 3 08 /10 /octobre /2014 05:30
Turkey, the Kurds and Iraq: The Prize and Peril of Kirkuk

 

October 7, 2014 - By Reva Bhalla - Stratfor

 

In June 1919, aboard an Allied warship en route to Paris, sat Damat Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier of a crumbling Ottoman Empire. The elderly statesman, donning an iconic red fez and boasting an impeccably groomed mustache, held in his hands a memorandum that he was to present to the Allied powers at the Quai d'Orsay. The negotiations on postwar reparations started five months earlier, but the Ottoman delegation was prepared to make the most of its tardy invitation to the talks. As he journeyed across the Mediterranean that summer toward the French shore, Damat Ferid mentally rehearsed the list of demands he would make to the Allied powers during his last-ditch effort to hold the empire together.

He began with a message, not of reproach, but of inculpability: "Gentlemen, I should not be bold enough to come before this High Assembly if I thought that the Ottoman people had incurred any responsibility in the war that has ravaged Europe and Asia with fire and sword." His speech was followed by an even more defiant memorandum, denouncing any attempt to redistribute Ottoman land to the Kurds, Greeks and Armenians, asserting: "In Asia, the Turkish lands are bounded on the south by the provinces of Mosul and Diyarbakir, as well as a part of Aleppo as far as the Mediterranean." When Damat Ferid's demands were presented in Paris, the Allies were in awe of the gall displayed by the Ottoman delegation. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George regarded the presentation as a "good joke," while U.S. President Woodrow Wilson said he had never seen anything more "stupid." They flatly rejected Damat Ferid's apparently misguided appeal -- declaring that the Turks were unfit to rule over other races, regardless of their common Muslim identity -- and told him and his delegation to leave. The Western powers then proceeded, through their own bickering, to divide the post-Ottoman spoils.

Under far different circumstances today, Ankara is again boldly appealing to the West to follow its lead in shaping policy in Turkey's volatile Muslim backyard. And again, Western powers are looking at Turkey with incredulity, waiting for Ankara to assume responsibility for the region by tackling the immediate threat of the Islamic State with whatever resources necessary, rather than pursuing a seemingly reckless strategy of toppling the Syrian government. Turkey's behavior can be perplexing and frustrating to Western leaders, but the country's combination of reticence in action and audacity in rhetoric can be traced back to many of the same issues that confronted Istanbul in 1919, beginning with the struggle over the territory of Mosul.

 

The Turkish Fight for Mosul

Under the Ottoman Empire, the Mosul vilayet stretched from Zakho in southeastern Anatolia down along the Tigris River through Dohuk, Arbil, Alqosh, Kirkuk, Tuz Khormato and Sulaimaniyah before butting up against the western slopes of the Zagros Mountains, which shape the border with Iran. This stretch of land, bridging the dry Arab steppes and the fertile mountain valleys in Iraqi Kurdistan, has been a locus of violence long before the Islamic State arrived. The area has been home to an evolving mix of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Yazidis, Assyro-Chaldeans and Jews, while Turkish and Persian factions and the occasional Western power, whether operating under a flag or a corporate logo, continue to work in vain to eke out a demographic makeup that suits their interests.
 

At the time of the British negotiation with the Ottomans over the fate of the Mosul region, British officers touring the area wrote extensively about the ubiquity of the Turkish language, noting that "Turkish is spoken all along the high road in all localities of any importance." This fact formed part of Turkey's argument that the land should remain under Turkish sovereignty. Even after the 1923 signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, in which Turkey renounced its rights to Ottoman lands, the Turkish government still held out a claim to the Mosul region, fearful that the Brits would use Kurdish separatism to further weaken the Turkish state. Invoking the popular Wilsonian principle of self-determination, the Turkish government asserted to the League of Nations that most of the Kurds and Arabs inhabiting the area preferred to be part of Turkey anyway. The British countered by asserting that their interviews with locals revealed a prevailing preference to become part of the new British-ruled Kingdom of Iraq.

The Turks, in no shape to bargain with London and mired in a deep internal debate over whether Turkey should forego these lands and focus instead on the benefits of a downsized republic, lost the argument and were forced to renounce their claims to the Mosul territory in 1925. As far as the Brits and the French were concerned, the largely Kurdish territory would serve as a vital buffer space to prevent the Turks from eventually extending their reach from Asia Minor to territories in Mesopotamia, Syria and Armenia. But the fear of Turkish expansion was not the only factor informing the European strategy to keep northern Iraq out of Turkish hands.

 

The Oil Factor

Since the days of Herodotus and Nebuchadnezzar, there have been stories of eternal flames arising from the earth of Baba Gurgur near the town of Kirkuk. German explorer and cartographer Carsten Niebuhr wrote in the 18th century: "A place called Baba Gurgur is above all remarkable because the earth is so hot that eggs and meat can be boiled here." The flames were in fact produced by the natural gas and naphtha seeping through cracks in the rocks, betraying the vast quantities of crude oil lying beneath the surface. London wasted little time in calling on geologists from Venezuela, Mexico, Romania and Indochina to study the land and recommend sites for drilling. On Oct. 14, 1927, the fate of Kirkuk was sealed: A gusher rising 43 meters (around 140 feet) erupted from the earth, dousing the surrounding land with some 95,000 barrels of crude oil for 10 days before the well could be capped. With oil now part of the equation, the political situation in Kirkuk became all the more flammable.

The British mostly imported Sunni Arab tribesmen to work the oil fields, gradually reducing the Kurdish majority and weakening the influence of the Turkmen minority in the area. The Arabization project was given new energy when the Arab Baath Socialist Party came to power through a military coup in 1968. Arabic names were given to businesses, neighborhoods, schools and streets, while laws were adjusted to pressure Kurds to leave Kirkuk and transfer ownership of their homes and lands to Arabs. Eviction tactics turned ghastly in 1988 under Saddam Hussein's Anfal campaign, during which chemical weapons were employed against the Kurdish population. The Iraqi government continued with heavy-handed tactics to Arabize the territory until the collapse of the Baathist regime in 2003. Naturally, revenge was a primary goal as Kurdish factions worked quickly to repopulate the region with Kurds and drive the Arabs out.

 

Even as Kirkuk, its oil-rich fields and a belt of disputed territories stretching between Diyala and Nineveh provinces have remained officially under the jurisdiction of the Iraqi central government in Baghdad, the Kurdish leadership has sought to redraw the boundaries of Iraqi Kurdistan. After the Iraqi Kurdish region gained de facto autonomy with the creation of a no-fly zone in 1991 and then formally coalesced into the Kurdistan Regional Government after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Kurdish influence gradually expanded in the disputed areas. Kurdish representation increased through multi-ethnic political councils, facilitated by the security protection these communities received from the Kurdish peshmerga and by the promise of energy revenues, while Baghdad remained mired in its own problems. Formally annexing Kirkuk and parts of Nineveh and Diyala, part of the larger Kurdish strategy, would come in due time. Indeed, the expectation that legalities of the annexation process would soon be completed convinced a handful of foreign energy firms to sign contracts with the Kurdish authorities -- as opposed to Baghdad -- enabling the disputed territories to finally begin realizing the region's energy potential.

Then the unexpected happened: In June, the collapse of the Iraqi army in the north under the duress of the Islamic State left the Kirkuk fields wide open, allowing the Kurdish peshmerga to finally and fully occupy them. Though the Kurds now sit nervously on the prize, Baghdad, Iran, local Arabs and Turkmen and the Islamic State are eyeing these fields with a predatory gaze. At the same time, a motley force of Iran-backed Shiite militias, Kurdish militants and Sunni tribesmen are trying to flush the Islamic State out of the region in order to return to settling the question of where to draw the line on Kurdish autonomy. The Sunnis will undoubtedly demand a stake in the oil fields that the Kurds now control as repayment for turning on the Islamic State, guaranteeing a Kurdish-Sunni confrontation that Baghdad will surely exploit.

 

The Turkish Dilemma

The modern Turkish government is looking at Iraq and Syria in a way similar to how Damat Ferid did almost a century ago when he sought in Paris to maintain Turkish sovereignty over the region. From Ankara's point of view, the extension of a Turkish sphere of influence into neighboring Muslim lands is the antidote to weakening Iraqi and Syrian states. Even if Turkey no longer has direct control over these lands, it hopes to at least indirectly re-establish its will through select partners, whether a group of moderate Islamist forces in Syria or, in northern Iraq, a combination of Turkmen and Sunni factions, along with a Kurdish faction such as Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party. The United States may currently be focused on the Islamic State, but Turkey is looking years ahead at the mess that will likely remain. This is why Turkey is placing conditions on its involvement in the battle against the Islamic State: It is trying to convince the United States and its Sunni Arab coalition partners that it will inevitably be the power administering this region. Therefore, according to Ankara, all players must conform to its priorities, beginning with replacing Syria's Iran-backed Alawite government with a Sunni administration that will look first to Ankara for guidance.

However, the Turkish vision of the region simply does not fit the current reality and is earning Ankara more rebuke than respect from its neighbors and the West. The Kurds, in particular, will continue to form the Achilles' heel of Turkish policymaking.

In Syria, where the Islamic State is closing in on the city of Kobani on Turkey's border, Ankara is faced with the unsavory possibility that it will be drawn into a ground fight with a well-equipped insurgent force. Moreover, Turkey would be fighting on the same side as a variety of Kurdish separatists, including members of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Ankara has every interest in neutralizing.

Turkey faces the same dilemma in Iraq, where it may unwittingly back Kurdish separatists in its fight against the Islamic State. Just as critical, Turkey cannot be comfortable with the idea that Kirkuk is in the hands of the Iraqi Kurds unless Ankara is assured exclusive rights over that energy and the ability to extinguish any oil-fueled ambitions of Kurdish independence. But Turkey has competition. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is not willing to make itself beholden to Turkey, as did Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, while financial pressures continue to climb. Instead, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is staying close to Iran and showing a preference to work with Baghdad. Meanwhile, local Arab and Turkmen resistance to Kurdish rule is rising, a factor that Baghdad and Iran will surely exploit as they work to dilute Kurdish authority by courting local officials in Kirkuk and Nineveh with promises of energy rights and autonomy.

This is the crowded battleground that Turkey knows well. A long and elaborate game of "keep away" will be played to prevent the Kurds from consolidating control over oil-rich territory in the Kurdish-Arab borderland, while the competition between Turkey and Iran will emerge into full view. For Turkey to compete effectively in this space, it will need to come to terms with the reality that Ankara will not defy its history by resolving the Kurdish conundrum, nor will it be able to hide within its borders and avoid foreign entanglements. 

 
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29 septembre 2014 1 29 /09 /septembre /2014 05:30
Attaque de la coalition contre le principal complexe gazier de Daesh

Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft fly over northern Iraq Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria - photo US Air Force

 

29.09.2014 Romandie.com (ats)

 

Les forces de la coalition dirigée par les Etats-Unis ont procédé tard dimanche en Syrie à des frappes contre le principal complexe gazier aux mains de l'Etat islamique. L'attaque "n'a pas fait de morts chez les jihadistes, mais quelques blessés", a annoncé une ONG.

 

"La coalition internationale a attaqué pour la première fois l'entrée et la salle de prières de l'usine Coneco", a précisé l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme (OSDH). Cette usine, "sous le contrôle de l'EI, est la plus grande de Syrie", a ajouté l'ONG proche des rebelles syriens.

 

Selon l'OSDH, cette attaque avait pour but de pousser les militants de l'EI à abandonner ces installations. L'usine Coneco se trouve dans l'est de la Syrie, dans la province de Deir Ezzor, riche en pétrole et proche de la frontière irakienne.

 

Les Etats-Unis et un groupe de pays arabes, principalement du golfe Persique, ont commencé mardi à lancer des raids contre des positions jihadistes en Syrie, un mois et demi après le début des attaques contre l'EI dans l'Irak voisin.

 

Jusqu'à ce dimanche, les bombardements ont principalement visé des bases jihadistes et des raffineries artisanales utilisées par leurs militants, dans le dessein de tarir leur principale source de financement.

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11 août 2014 1 11 /08 /août /2014 16:30
source fijione.tv

source fijione.tv

 

August 11, 2014: Strategy Page

 

The Iraqi government recently scored a victory in their campaign to prevent the Kurds in the north from selling any more of the oil the Kurds are now pumping and shipping out via Turkey. This win came in the United States where lawyers representing Iraq convinced an American court to block the sale of a million barrels of Kurdish oil in the United States. As of August 1 st this leaves a tanker carrying a million barrels of Kurdish oil stranded in a Texas port while lawyers representing Iraq and the Kurds continue to argue over whether the autonomous Kurds of northern Iraq can actually own and can sell oil pumped from Kurdish controlled oil fields. The U.S. court, for the moment, agrees with Iraq that all oil pumped in Iraq (which the autonomous Kurdish territory is still technically part of) is owned by the Iraqi government. The Kurds point out that the share of Iraq oil income promised them has been plundered by corrupt Arab politicians in the Iraqi government and that the only way to get their fair share is to pump it, ship it and sell it themselves. The Kurds currently have three tankers at sea filled with their oil but the Iraqi government has lawyers standing by to halt any sale of this oil.

 

The Kurds had hoped that the Iraqi government would relent because in June, when Iraq asked the Kurds to send some of their troops south to fight ISIL Islamic terrorists forces threatening to march on Baghdad, the Kurds did move south. But the Kurds want the Shia dominated Iraq government to stop opposing Kurdish efforts to export and sell oil pumped within the Kurdish controlled areas of northern Iraq. The Arab Iraqis, for the moment, do not believe Kurdish military assistance is worth that high a price.

 

In April 2013 Iraqi Kurds sold their first shipment of Kurdish oil (produced in oil fields developed by Kurds in Kurdish controlled territory.) This oil was trucked across the border to Turkey and sold for $22 million. The Iraqi government loudly protested this independent oil operation but the Iraqi armed forces were not powerful enough to stop the Kurds.

 

It was back in 2012 that the Kurdish government in northern Iraq announced that they would begin exporting oil via a pipeline through Turkey by 2013 and then ship it to buyers worldwide. The Iraqi government insisted that this would not happen. This is an Arab/Kurd conflict, part of a struggle that goes back thousands of years. The Kurds are relying on Turkish support, and in return are cooperating with Turkish efforts to deal with Turkish PKK Kurdish separatists, who have bases in northern Iraq. While the PKK goal of a separate Kurdish state is popular with most Kurds (even in northern Iraq), the survival of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq is considered more crucial, for now.

 

Iraq is producing 3.5 million barrels of oil a day, more than the Saddam ever achieved. Iraqi oil production had been stuck at 2.5 million barrels a day since the 1980s (production had peaked in the late 1970s at four million barrels a day). Iraqi has nine percent of the world's oil reserves, but decades of war and mismanagement had prevented necessary maintenance and construction in the oil fields. For the last few years the oil regions have been safe for foreign oil production companies to bring in their experts, and cash, in to get the job done, so Iraqi production has been steadily increasing. The goal is ten million barrels a day by the end of the decade. The Kurds plan to start exporting 80,000 barrels a day in by 2014, largely with the help of Turkish investors. Kurdish production is currently 120,000 barrels a day. The remaining problem is how to deal with the corruption that has diverted so much oil income into the pockets of thieving politicians and government officials. In Iraq, corruption is like the weather; everyone talks about it but not enough people do anything about it.

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 06:45
L'armée libyenne affirme avoir pris le contrôle de deux ports pétroliers

 

09 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

BENGHAZI (Libye) - L'armée libyenne a annoncé mercredi avoir pris le contrôle de deux ports bloqués depuis juillet, conformément à l'accord conclu avec les autonomistes qui se sont emparés des principaux terminaux pétroliers de l'est du pays il y a près de neuf mois.

 

Le porte-parole du chef d'état-major, le colonel Ali al-Chikhi, a annoncé mercredi soir la prise de contrôle du port de Zwitina et de celui d'Al-Hariga, d'une capacité totale d'exportation de 210.000 barils par jour.

 

Les ports de l'est libyen sont bloqués depuis juillet par des autonomistes membres des gardes des installations pétrolières, empêchant toute exportation de brut et provoquant une chute de la production à 250.000 barils par jour, voire moins, contre près de 1,5 million b/j en temps normal.

 

Les autorités libyennes et les autonomistes avaient annoncé dimanche soir être parvenus à un accord prévoyant la levée immédiate du blocage des ports de Zwitina et d'Al-Hariga.

 

Les deux parties se sont par ailleurs accordé un délai de deux à quatre semaines pour trouver un accord final permettant la levée du blocage des deux autres ports: Ras Lanouf (200.000 b/j) et al-Sedra (350.000 b/j).

 

Selon le colonel al-Chikhi, le groupe d'Ibrahim Jodhrane (le chef des autonomistes, ndlr) s'est engagé à ne plus entrer dans le port d'Al-Hariga ou le bloquer.

 

Un responsable du port d'Al-Hariga, Abdelwahab Salem Omran, a indiqué que l'activité dans le port devrait reprendre en début de semaine prochaine (dimanche), lorsque la Compagnie nationale de pétrole (NOC) aura levé l'état de force majeure imposé depuis août sur les ports affectés par le blocage.

 

La force majeure permet une exonération de la responsabilité de la NOC en cas de non respect des contrats de livraison de pétrole si elle invoque des circonstances exceptionnelles.

 

Le leader des autonomistes, Ibrahim Jodhrane, avait, dans un premier temps, justifié le blocage des terminaux en accusant le gouvernement de corruption.

 

Mais les protestataires ont ensuite affiché leurs véritables intentions en réclamant l'autonomie de la Cyrénaïque (région orientale) et en annonçant la mise en place d'un gouvernement local, ainsi que d'une banque et d'une compagnie de pétrole.

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10 mars 2014 1 10 /03 /mars /2014 19:45
Libyan rebels warn of 'war' if navy attacks oil tanker

 

10 March 2014 defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

Armed protesters in eastern Libya traded threats with the government on Sunday in a tense stand-off over the unauthorized sale of oil from a rebel-held port.

 

A North Korean-flagged tanker, the Morning Glory, docked on Saturday at the port of Es Sider and local daily al-Wasat said it had loaded $36 million of crude oil. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has said the military will bomb the 37,000-tonne vessel if it tries to leave.

 

Officials said on Sunday that the navy and pro-government militias had dispatched boats to stop it from getting out. The rebels said any attack on the tanker would be "a declaration of war."

 

The escalating conflict over the country's oil wealth is a sign of mounting chaos in Libya, where the government has failed to rein in fighters who helped oust veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and who now defy state authority.

 

The protesters, who also include former soldiers and ex-oil guards led by a former anti-Gaddafi commander, Ibrahim Jathran, have seized three eastern ports in the OPEC member country.

 

The Defence Ministry issued orders to the chief of staff, air force and navy to deal with the tanker. "The order authorizes the use of force and puts the responsibility for any resulting damage on the ship owner," it said in a statement.

 

"Several navy boats have been dispatched. Now the tanker's movements are under complete control and nobody can move it," said Culture Minister Habib al-Amin, who acts as informal government spokesman. "The tanker will stay where it is."

 

"All efforts are being undertaken to stop and seize the tanker, if necessary by a (military) strike, if it does not follow orders," he said, adding that state prosecutors would treat the loading of the crude as smuggling.

 

There was no sign of any immediate military action, but Libyan news websites showed some small boats close to a tanker which they said was the Morning Glory.

 

Libya has been trying to rebuild its army since Gaddafi's overthrow, but analysts say it is not yet a match for battle-hardened militias that fought in the eight-month uprising that toppled him.

 

WAR OF WORDS

 

Abb-Rabbo al-Barassi, self-declared prime minister of the rebel movement, warned against "harming any tanker or sending navy ships into the waters of Cyrenaica," according to a statement.

 

He was referring to the historic name of eastern Libya under King Idris, whom Gaddafi deposed in a 1969 coup. The protesters want a return to the Idris-era system under which oil revenues were shared between Libya's regions.

 

If the tanker was harmed, the statement said, "the response from Cyrenaica's defense forces, oil guards and revolutionaries will be decisive. Such a move would be a declaration of war."

 

In Tripoli, workers at a state oil firm that runs Es Sider port went on strike, urging the government to intervene because their colleagues were under duress from armed protesters.

 

"We are very angry at what is happening at Es Sider," said Salah Madari, an oil worker in the capital. "The port's control officer is being held at gunpoint," he said, adding that gunmen had also forced a pilot to guide the tanker into dock.

 

Jathran once led a brigade paid by the state to protect oil facilities. He turned against the government and seized Es Sider and two other ports with thousands of his men in August.

 

Tripoli has held indirect talks with Jathran, but fears his demand for a greater share of oil revenue for eastern Libya might lead to secession.

 

In January, the Libyan navy fired on a Maltese-flagged tanker that it said had tried to load oil from the protesters in Es Sider, successfully chasing it away.

 

It is very unusual for an oil tanker flagged in secretive North Korea to operate in the Mediterranean, shipping sources said. NOC says the tanker is owned by a Saudi company. It has changed ownership in the past few weeks and had previously been called Gulf Glory, according to a shipping source.

 

Libya's government has tried to end a wave of protests at oil ports and fields that have slashed oil output to 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 1.4 million bpd in July.

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