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Has Assad lost Syria's oil fields for good?

MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
October 25 · Issue #61 · View online
MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq.

Key developments
  • Iraq: There is growing resistance to Barzani’s presidency within the Kurdistan Regional Government after the Kurds have lost all the disputed territories to Iraqi forces. Rumors even indicate he might resign. 

  • Russia has blocked a UN Security Council resolution extending the UN-OPCW Joint Mechanism’s mandate in Syria. It can be assumed that the JIM would have pointed to the Assad regime as the responsible party for the Sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun in April. The mandate will end next months. Russia’s decision to block the JIM’s work is destructive as chemical weapons are used nearly on a weekly basis in Syria.
  • The Islamic State has killed at least 60 civilians in the town of Qaryatayn that has been one of the jihadist’s remaining pockets in western Homs.
  • More Turkish troops and dozens of armored vehicles have entered Idlib.
  • The SDF have captured the important al-Omar oil field on the eastern banks of the Euphrates. The race for Deir ez-Zor was also a race for the control of resources. It is hard to imagine that the regime and its allies will accept the major oil fields to be controlled by US-allied forces.
  • While HTS and ISIS are fighting each other in Hama, pro-regime forces launched a limited offensive to take advantage of the weakened frontlines. Russian airstrikes increased in the region.
  • Airstrikes also increased on the fronts near Damascus, where Faylaq al-Sham still resists.

Articles worth reading
Towards Tangible Actions for Transitional Justice in Syria
Hazardous Legacies: An Open-Source Overview of the Destruction of Deir ez-Zor’s Oil Industry
Iraqi Kurdistan's Crisis: A Failure of Strategy
Hostility Toward Militants Grows in Idlib as Turkey Deploys
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