In what is a remarkable example of the de facto independence of the new Kurdistan (technically, the Kurdish Autonomous region of Iraq), Kurdistan has just shipped “more than a million barrels” of oil to an unnamed European buyer, and the oil was transshipped via a Turkish pipeline to an oil storage facility at Ceyhan, a Turkish outlet on the Mediterranean Sea (see first link and second link). This shipment completely bypasses the need for Kurdistan to either sell or ship oil to the world market via the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.
The Iraqi central government is, understandably, furious, but there is not a lot they can do about it. The Iraqi central government’s hold on Iraqi territory is very shaky right now, and it is in no condition to try to use military force to compel the Kurds to re-enter the Iraqi fold. According to the third link, the Iraqi government cannot even hold its own against an Al Qaeda-aligned Jihadist army called ISIL that is controlling a significant portion of Iraq’s western regions, including the important Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. The Kurdish region has its own army, the Peshmerga, which is highly motivated, well armed and cohesive. In a war between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi army, I’d bet on the Kurdish Peshmerga.
Another vital consideration is that the Kurdish oil deal to a European buyer was facilitated by Turkey, which surely made transit fees on having Kurdish oil shipped via Turkish oil pipelines. Turkey now has a huge economic incentive to work closely with Kurdistan to ship steady amounts of Kurdish oil to Europe, making money for Turkey on each shipment. If Kurdish oil is forcibly shipped to world markets via Iraqi ports, the Turks will be left out in the cold, making nothing on the deals. For this reason, Turkey has every reason to be allied with the Kurds in the new oil deals between the Kurds and Europe. I think the timing of this oil shipment to an unnamed European buyer is most appropriate. Russia has just signed a massive energy deal to ship Russian energy (oil and gas) to China in future years, and there may not be enough Russian energy to ship to Europe soon, given China’s voracious appetite for energy and natural resources. Someone in Europe has already figured out that importing Kurdish oil via Turkey is a good way to start replacing Russian energy supplies. The Turks, who will make money on every shipment, are more than happy to be the middlemen in Kurdish-European oil shipments. Other European nations are highly likely to develop an appetite for Kurdish oil as well to replace what will be unreliable Russian energy shipments in the future.
What we are witnessing, from a biblical point of view, is the gradual alignment of which nations will be in the Gog-Magog alliance led by Russia, China and Iran and which nations will be in the western alliance led by the modern nations of the ten tribes of Israel. Turkey is allied to the modern nations of the ten tribes of Israel in NATO, and the Kurds are drawing steadily closer to Turkey and Europe. It appears that Kurdistan is heading toward alignment with the western powers. The prospect of shared oil revenues is drawing Kurdistan and Turkey closer together, and they are jointly being drawn closer to Europe via the oil markets. The Iraqi central government is dominated by Shiites who are aligned with Iran, so the central government of Iraq is entering the Gog-Magog alliance. The third article hints strongly that what has happened in Iraq will also happen in Afghanistan. In both cases, the US military won wars in both nations, occupying them for years. However, it seems inevitable that the White House and State Departments will “lose the peace” in each case.
As I’ve noted in a previous post, the River Euphrates is prophesied in Revelation 16:12 to be a jumping-off location for a massive eastern-bloc army that will invade westward toward Jerusalem, Sunni Arab regions and Europe. Baghdad is situated between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, so the Iraqi central government is most likely going to control that jumping-off point which will be used by the eastern alliance of Revelation 16 (also referred to as the Gog-Magog alliance in Ezekiel 38-39).
What we see is a Divine Hand moving global geopolitics to shepherd the modern nations into one of the two great global alliances that will exist in the latter days. The uncanny accuracy of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 in predicting the membership of modern alliances is a clear proof that a Divine Creator God not only exists, but He is actively guiding international affairs even now as he prepares to fulfill the rest of his biblical latter day prophecies in the years ahead of us.