At least four Oil Police officers died in an insurgent attack on the Alas oil field Tuesday, highlighting the ongoing security vacuum in rural parts of northern Iraq's Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahaddin provinces.
The attack comes after the U.S. military withdrew troops from northern Syria, raising fears in Iraq that the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group could gain momentum. IS militants controlled much of the Alas field between 2014 and 2017, using rudimentary techniques to extract crude and help fund its war.
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