Middle East

Syria truce set for next week as US, Russia back peace bid


World powers agreed a partial cease fire in Syria’s civil war, reaching a deal that could forestall a humanitarian crisis around the besieged city of Aleppo even amid skepticism about how broad and lasting the truce might be. Backing the accord were all the major outside powers in the five-year-old conflict, including the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. But the halt to fighting won’t cover jihadist groups like Islamic State, meaning U.S., French and Russian air strikes against them will continue.

Middle East

Israel claims ISIS funded by “Turkish money”


Israel’s defence minister has alleged ISIS (Islamic State) has been funded with “Turkish money”. Moshe Ya’alon made the claim as he said the Turkish government was not pulling its weight in the fight against the network.

Other News

UN moves to block IS terror funds


Finance ministers from the United Nations Security Council’s 15 powers are poised to adopt a resolution aimed at disrupting the Islamic State (IS) terror group’s earnings from oil and antiquities sales, ransom payments and other criminal activities. IS is already subject to UN sanctions under resolutions dealing with al Qaida. But the proposed resolution, sponsored by the United States and Russia, elevates IS to the same level as al Qaida, reflecting its split from al Qaida and the growing threat it poses especially in the Middle East and North Africa. US treasury secretary Jacob Lew, who will chair today’s meeting, said disrupting IS’ revenue and cutting it off from the international financial system “are critical to effectively combating this violent terrorist group”.

Other News

Dozens killed in air strikes on fuel market in Syria


Air strikes on a fuel market in a village in northern Syria have killed and wounded dozens of people and destroyed several tanker trucks, according to opposition monitoring groups. Activists said war planes also struck another market in the northern village of Maskaneh which is under the control of Islamic State, killing at least 12 people and wounding many others. It was not immediately clear whose war planes carried out the strikes, although the monitoring groups said the Russians targeted both markets.

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US-led coalition denies hitting Syrian army as it targets oil hotspots


Syria’s government has accused the US-led coalition of launching air strikes on a Syrian army camp that killed three soldiers and wounded 13. The US has denied the claim, saying the alliance carried out four air strikes against oil wells in the province - all of them miles away from the alleged location of the incident. The city of Deir el-Zour, where the purported strikes happened on Sunday, is mainly held by the Islamic State group, but the Syrian government maintains a presence in some parts of it.

Other News

RAF hits Syrian oil field targets


British Tornado jets hit seven targets in eastern Syrian oil fields in a mission described as landing a “very real blow” by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

Oil & Gas

Israeli firm claims significant find in disputed Golan Heights region


A major oil discovery has been made in the Golan Heights, according to reports. The Israeli energy company Afek Oil and Gas said the firm could have potentially discovered billions of barrels in the disputed region. Yuval Bartov, the company's chief geologist, told a news station in the region the find was one of "significant quantities."

Oil & Gas

Oil rises as Russian strikes in Syria raise Middle East tension


Oil gained after Russian air strikes in Syria drew condemnation from the US and its allies, increasing tension in the Middle East. Futures in New York advanced as much as 2.2 percent. Russian planes are targeting Islamic State, al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front and other armed groups, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday. US data Friday may show the labor market is improving in the world’s biggest oil user, with 201,000 jobs added last month, according to a Bloomberg survey. “We need to start putting some geopolitical risk premium in the oil price,” Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland, said in a note. “There are many countries active in some way in Syria and it is not yet clear how each will react to the increasing Russian open military action.”

Oil & Gas

Islamic State bombers hit Syrian city, oil tanks on fire


Islamic State suicide bombers blew up two trucks in the heart of the northeastern Syrian city of Hasaka and a fire erupted at petroleum storage tanks and a textile firm after shelling by the militants, a Syrian army source said on Monday. The army source was quoted by state television as saying the militants had targeted a major roundabout and near a mosque in the southeastern Ghwyran neighbourhood, a residential area that the militants entered since Thursday in a lighting assault to seize the government-held parts of the city.