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Thursday, March 02, 2017

Armed political faction interrupts Kirkuk exports

The "Black Force" special police unit of the PUK party briefly took over Kirkuk's IT-1 facility - a sign of deteriorating intra-Kurdish political rivalries. Aso Almany, the head of the PUK office in Kirkuk and the leader of the "Black Force" special police unit, gives a press conference on March 2, 2017, accompanied by two other senior PUK figures, Assutah Rasool (right) and Sirwan Kokhiya Najim (left). (KAMARAN AL-NAJAR/Iraq Oil Report) By Kamaran al Najar, Patrick Osgood and Rawaz Tahir of Iraq Oil Report Published Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 Iraq’s northern oil exports were briefly disrupted Thursday when armed units associated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party took over a central oil facility in Kirkuk. The incident is further evidence of a deteriorating rivalry between the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) two main parties over how to share power, including over energy resources. At around 8:15 a.m., units from the so-called "Black Force," a Kirkuk-based special police unit operated by the PUK... Assassination and bombings roil Basra After gunmen killed the general secretary of Hizbollah Iraq's Basra branch, and amidst a spate of IED bombings, paramilitary groups threatened to take security matters into their own hands. Iraqi security forces take their positions during a training exercise in Basra on Nov. 18, 2012. (ATEF HASSAN/Reuters) By Ali al-Aqily, Jassim al-Jabiri and Ben Van Heuvelen of Iraq Oil Report Published Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 Basra leaders are scrambling to contain an outbreak of violence that has targeted political figures and provoked outrage among Shia paramilitary groups.The spate of violence began with the assassination, on Feb. 8, of Bassam al-Mosawi, the general secretary of the paramilitary group Hizbollah Iraq's Basra branch. Over the following week, six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have detonated around the city, one outside the home of an official from the Dawa political party.In response t...

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