Kurdish forces closed an oil plant in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, and suspended crude exports to Turkey, due to unknown reasons, a North Oil Company source told EFE.
The Kurdish troops known as Peshmerga were deployed at the oil facilities located in southern Kirkuk – 250 kilometers North of Bagdad – this morning, and ordered all employees to evacuate the plant, called IT1. This oil plant exports crude oil to Turkey through a pipeline connecting to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
The Peshmerga troops seized Kirkuk in 2014, after the Iraqi army withdrew from the area in the face of Islamic State’s advance. The government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan considers that Kirkuk is a part of its territory and call for a referendum in the area, foreseen in the constitution of Iraq.