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.
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)
- 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
- Corrected details concerning Bazian refinery ownership (see below)
KIRKUK - 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.
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