KIRKUK, IRAQ - Ali al-Obaidi was credited for squeezing out smugglers and thieves from Iraq's largest refinery, but he couldn't escape the consequence: being targeted by the criminals, including al-Qaida, who profited from the illicit trade he was squelching.
On Saturday, Obaidi resigned, according to Iraqi sources including within the North Oil Company and American officials, though the oil ministry press office couldn't confirm it, ending a long career in Iraq's oil sector that was capped by a three-year stint reducing corruption and increasing production at Beiji refinery, in northern Iraq’s Salahaddin province.
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