Kirkuk oil crisis subsides as PUK faction withdraws

"Black Force" special police left key energy sites in Kirkuk, but the political tensions that produced the dramatic showdown remain unresolved.
Flares burn at the Baba Dome of the Kirkuk oil field on Aug. 3, 2009. (AKO RASHEED/Reuters)

KIRKUK - An armed faction of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party has withdrawn from key energy sites in Kirkuk, signaling at least a temporary resolution to a crisis over the province's oil and gas resources.

The drawdown, which began Wednesday, followed a meeting in Sulaimaniya on Tuesday between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and senior PUK leaders, including Hero Talabani and Kosrat Rasul, according to a member of the PUK leadership council.

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