Kurdish forces seize oil wells under Iraqi control

Kurdish regional government forces have taken control of some oil wells in northern Kirkuk, Iraq’s state oil company North Oil Company said in a statement on Saturday.

He said the forces arrived with a technical team from the Kurdish region and took over some of the oil wells in the Bai Hassan oilfield, which is controlled by the North Oil Company.

The statement did not say when the forces arrived and if they were still there.

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Iraqi forces regained control of the Kirkuk oil fields from the Kurds in 2017 following a Kurdish independence referendum.

Baghdad responded to the plebiscite, in which Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence, by driving out Kurdish peshmerga fighters from territories claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil city of Kirkuk.

The Kirkuk oil fields had been under Kurdish control since 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of IS. The Kurdish decision prevented the militants from seizing oil fields in the region.

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