Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kurds seize oil fields

By Abigail Hauslohner July 11 at 2:25 PM, WashPost

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Kurds seized control of two oil fields Friday, vowing to use the oil to meet Kurdish consumption needs and raising tensions between the country’s political and ethnic factions as they struggle to form a new government.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which governs a largely autonomous region in northern Iraq, said Kurdish forces moved into two northern oil fields Friday morning to preempt what it alleged were orders by the government in Baghdad to “sabotage” a new pipeline that would be used to export oil via Kurdish territory.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry accused the Kurds of seizing the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk-area oil fields in violation of Iraq’s constitution.

“They are ignoring the government of Baghdad, and they are threatening the unity of Iraq,” said Assem Jihad, a ministry spokesman.

(More here.)

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