Kirkuk oil causes further escalation of Baghdad-Erbil rifts

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Kirkuk oil fields, File photo

ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – Taha Zangana, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, told local media on Saturday that the Iraqi Central government was intending to target the oil fields in Kirkuk.

“Therefore we decided to protect it (Kirkuk) by efforts of our Peshmerga forces,” Zangana said.

Zangana’s statement came after the Kurdish Peshmerga controlled installations for the production of oil in the Bai Hassan and oil fields in Kirkuk, which the Iraqi Oil Ministry convicted on Friday in a statement describing the incident as “seizing the opportunity” (in reference to the Iraqi turmoil which stormed the country) and that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) “should have been preserved and protected it from terrorists rather than controlling it”, according to the Iraqi Central Government.

“We received information indicating that the Iraqi government will target the oil fields in Kirkuk, so we abruptly sent the Peshmerga forces to prevent any potential attacks,” Zangana clarified in his statement.

On the other hand, the governor of Kirkuk, Necmettin Kerim, rejected this step by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), considering it as a provocation to the city of Kirkuk, while Zangana said they are “looking for solutions to the crisis”.

This comes as the dispute between the Iraqi Central Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government escalated after Iraqi PM, Nouri al-Maliki, accused KRG of “securing the entry of terrorists”. Meanwhile, President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, responded to al-Maliki’s accusations by saying “Maliki must quit”, amid growing rejection for Iraqi PM’s re-electing for a third term.

 

Reporting by: Silava Ahmad

Source: ARA News

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