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Friday, October 27, 2017

Fear of Iranian general left Iraqi Kurdish oil fields deserted

Fear of Iranian general left Iraqi Kurdish oil fields desertedBy Ahmed Rasheed and Dmitry Zhdannikov BAGHDAD/LONDON (Reuters) - When the Iraqi army and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia entered a key oil processing facility in Iraq's north to retake it from Kurdish Peshmerga forces last week, the installation was deserted and its alarm bells ringing. Engineers and workers on the facility, which processes oil from two major fields in the Kirkuk area of predominantly Sunni Kurdistan, had fled, fearing the military advance. "No one wanted to risk their life and decided to evacuate as stories about the Shi'ite militia and Qassem Soleimani were spreading fast," said a senior Kurdish oil industry source, referring to the head of foreign operations for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

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