Iraq Update: Kerry Arrives In Baghdad
Following our comprehensive update yesterday, there is not as much to report, but for all those following the Iraq situation closer than the surgeon general recommends, here are the latest updates.
ISIL Controls Western Borders; Kerry in Bagdad: Oil extends gain as conflict in Iraq escalates with ISIL-led militants capturing border crossings with Syria and Jordan and gaining territory.
From Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iraq's prime minister in Baghdad on Monday to push for a more inclusive government, even as Baghdad's forces abandoned the border with Jordan, leaving the entire Western frontier outside government control.
Sunni tribes took the Turaibil border crossing, the only legal crossing point between Iraq and Jordan, after Iraqi security forces fled, Iraqi and Jordanian security sources said.
The tribes were negotiating to hand the post over to insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant who took control of two main crossings with Syria over the weekend.
Kurdish forces control a third border post with Syria in the north, leaving central government troops with no presence along the entire Western frontier which includes some of the most important east-west trade routes in the Middle East.
- Militants control all border crossings to Syria and Jordan
- Capture Rutba along the road to Baghdad and Qaim, Rawa and Anah along the Euphrates River
- ISIL take over Tal Afar airport
- Iraqi govt troops retain control of 310k b/d Baiji refinery, but facility surrounded by territory held by militants
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Baghdad, presses leaders to “rise above sectarian motivations” and form a united govt
- U.S. to send 300 military advisers to Baghdad; lack sufficient intelligence for imminent air strikes: Gen. Dempsey
- Iran opposes US intervention in Iraq
- Saudi Arabia warns against outside intervention in Iraq, blames “exclusionary policies” of Iraqi cabinet: Saudi ambassador writes in Telegraph
PRESSURE ON MALIKI
- Obama declines to endorse Maliki, stops short of calling for him to step down
- Maliki faces revolt from Shiite backers
OIL PRODUCTION IN NORTHERN IRAQ
- Current output from Iraq’s northern fields cut to 30k b/d; supplying Kirkuk refinery
- Northern fields were producing ~650-700k b/d before March 2 closure of export pipeline to Turkey
IRAQ’S NORTHERN EXPORTS
- Exports from Iraq’s northern fields cut since March 2 when the Iraq-Turkey pipeline was bombed
- Link repair impossible as ISIL controls territory
- Exports of Kirkuk crude from Turkish port of Ceyhan fell to 24k b/d in March, zero in April: Oil Ministry
- Iraq still exports crude from southern fields via Persian Gulf
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