Editorial: ISIL, ISIS, IS
As battle rages for Saddam Hussein’s home town, the Ba’athist stronghold of Tikrit, the world’s newest state has been declared on the banks of the Euphrates.
ISIS, the extreme jihadist group that has changed its name four times in the past, has undergone a further rebranding as it yesterday proclaimed sovereign statehood over its holdings in Iraq and the Levant.
Nine months after the group declared independence, The Islamic State as it is now know, established itself as a caliphate under the rule of military commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with its capital at the Abbasid city of Ar-Raqqah. Taking the title Caliph Ibrahim, a statement was released in five languages demanding all jihadis swear allegiance to the new supreme ruler.
As stated last week, although the oil heartlands of south-eastern Iraq are still out of the reach of Islamic State forces, the reaction of major oil companies has been one of extreme caution. Chinese-owned organisations have already airlifted 1,200 workers to safe zones, with contingencies for the evacuation of a further 8,800 if conditions worsen.
As well as the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), all of the supermajors have a sizable footprint in the Iraqi petroleum sector and thousands of workers potentially in harms way.
Now that the ISIS/ISIL/IS cause has a homeland, the immediate threat is doubtless more palpable on an international scale. With Iraq producing some four per cent of the world’s daily oil output, the world waits to see whether the spectre of terror will spook the oil majors into flight….
Will the establishment of the new caliphate mean the large-scale disruption for the Iraqi oil and gas sector? Have your say here
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