Increasing violence hits Iraq’s oil sector

In a summer of discontent, Iraq’s oil sector is a popular target for outlaws of all stripes – from insurgents, to organized smugglers, to petty criminals and vandals.
A Kurdish guerrilla fighter treks through the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq. Kurdish rebels recently bombed a section of Iraq's northern export pipeline in Turkey, the latest of several recent attacks on the oil sector. (DANIEL SMITH/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Last weekend's bombing of Iraq's northern export pipeline by Kurdish rebels was only the latest attack on the country's oil industry. Pipelines and storage facilities in both the north and south have suffered several recent acts of sabotage and destruction.

In response to the security problems, Iraq’s Oil Police have beefed up security at one oil field near the Iraq-Iran border and along the country's northern pipeline into Turkey. A division of the Interior Ministry, the Oil Police are one of several government entities responsible for oil security, along with the ministries of Oil and Defense.

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