Comment: The reason is implied in the article

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The reason is implied in the article

"The timing of the licence awarding has stirred mitigated responses."

Its timed to coincide with Obama's move to start a full on war with Syria. And to hide among the rest of the scandals.

A bold move to declare war on yet another country is more exciting than an "oil" company winning a bid, though, maybe not as significant.

This will basically provide a base inside Syria. I'm sure they will suck up as much oil as they can, but I highly doubt that will be it's primary function.

Just open the box and see