Should-be allies remain rivals in Iraq’s disputed territories

Power struggles between factionalized security forces in northern Iraq have left security gaps that insurgents continue to exploit.
Should-be allies remain rivals in Iraq’s disputed territories
Iraqi forces drive toward Kurdish Peshmerga positions on Oct. 15, 2017, on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images]

A guard was killed and four others injured by a gunman at the Barham Group's refinery project in Kirkuk province last week, the third such attack there this year, and one of hundreds of acts of violence in a security vacuum worsened by conflict between Iraqi security forces who are supposed to protect the country's infrastructure and people.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the first attack on the refinery; no one has claimed the other two. In the latest, assailants used heavy machine guns and “various small arms,” said Barham Group spokesperson Hawkar Ali.

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