Editorial: The ISIS Crisis & The Death Of The Healed
"Time is a double-edged sword: while it might heal all wounds; it also kills all the healed." Mokokoma Mokhonoana
As 2.5 billion pairs of eyes have been locked on the World Cup in Brazil, a serious threat has emerged in the Middle East. After a series of name changes since its formation a decade ago, The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has cut a black swath down the backbone of Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Iraq’s oil-rich second city, Mosul, was seized by ISIS militants a week ago today, leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants under the yoke of the self-proclaimed Emir, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Iraq was created from the three British-occupied Ottoman provinces of Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul in 1920 and has the world’s fifth largest proven oil reserves. In April 2014, the republic was producing an estimated 3.3 million barrels per day - about four per cent of global supply.
While three quarters of Iraqi oil production is located in the south of the country around Basra, the crippled 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline now falls within ISIS dominion, as well as the Kirkuk oil field, which accounts for 17 per cent of the country's proven reserves.
As ISIS insurgents approached Baghdad and the country’s largest refinery at Baiji was shut down and evacuated, Brent crude hit a three-year high of $113.
While it seems that Iraq’s southern oil remains safe from the scourge of ISIS for now, international intervention looms to stave off the recurrence of hostilities that turned one of the Middle East’s most progressive nations into a quagmire of sectarianism.
Perhaps even more disquieting, though, soon there will be no memory that the healed ever existed….
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