Kirkuk crisis redraws northern Iraq’s oil map

Federal forces are advancing deep into disputed territories beyond Kirkuk, fundamentally changing the balance of power over oil in northern Iraq.
Smoke rises from oil wells in Dibis on the outskirts of Kirkuk on Oct. 17, 2017. (ALAA AL-MARJANI/Reuters)

ERBIL - Federal forces are continuing a lightning advance to reassert control over Iraq's disputed territories, including major oil fields formerly claimed by the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have withdrawn from not only Kirkuk, but also disputed territories in Ninewa, Salahaddin, and Diyala provinces, ceding control of oil-rich areas that have long been the subject of intractable political disputes and ethnic tension.

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