IS torches Qayarah oil complex, dumps crude in Tigris

Scorched-earth tactics cause deadly environmental damage, highlight IS group's battlefield losses and failure to sustain oil-fueled state.
IS torches Qayarah oil complex, dumps crude in Tigris
Crude from a burst pipeline at al-Fatha is set on fire in April 2014 in the Tigris River. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

QAYARAH - Facing the imminent advance of Iraqi forces, militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) have looted, bulldozed and torched the Qayarah refinery, and are trying to weaponize oil from nearby fields.

The desperate scorched-earth tactics highlight the extent to which the IS group's battlefield losses are undermining its aspirations to create an oil-fueled quasi-state.

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