Fields retaken from IS still offline, under attack

After being ousted from Ajil and Hamrin oil fields, IS fighters are launching deadly asymmetrical attacks that continue to cripple Iraq's northern oil sector.
Smoke rises from the Ajeel oil field as Iraqi paramilitary forces gather in al-Hadidiya, south of Tikrit, on March 6, 2015. (THAIER AL-SUDANI/Reuters)

Persistent attacks are preventing Iraq from re-starting production at Ajil and Hamrin, two northern oil fields that were recently recaptured from the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The fields represent a small fraction of Iraq's overall production capacity, but the inability of pro-government forces to establish security underscores the broader difficulty of resurrecting northern Iraq's energy sector, which includes vital facilities such as the Baiji refinery and infrastructure like the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP) that were taken offline due to the rise of the IS group.

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