UPDATE: Armed political faction interrupts Kirkuk exports

The "Black Force" special police unit of the PUK party briefly took over Kirkuk's IT-1 facility - a sign of deteriorating intra-Kurdish political rivalries.
UPDATE: Armed political faction interrupts Kirkuk exports
Aso Almany, the head of the PUK office in Kirkuk and the leader of the "Black Force" special police unit, gives a press conference on March 2, 2017, accompanied by two other senior PUK figures, Assutah Rasool (right) and Sirwan Kokhiya Najim (left). (KAMARAN AL-NAJAR/Iraq Oil Report)

UPDATE:

  • New details about the motives behind the incident
  • Added perspectives from PUK, KDP, and industry officials
  • Black Force remains at IT-1 as of Thursday night

Iraq’s northern oil exports were briefly disrupted Thursday when armed units associated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party took over a central oil facility in Kirkuk. The incident is further evidence of a deteriorating rivalry between the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) two main parties over how to share power, including over energy resources. At around 8:15 a.m., units from the so-called "Black Force," a Kirkuk-based special police unit operated by the PUK...

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