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Iran Press TV

Baghdad slams Kurdistan for seizing key oil fields

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:59PM GMT

Iraqi Oil Ministry has slammed semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over seizure of at least two key oil fields near the northern city of Kirkuk.

This comes after Kurdish Peshmerga troops seized two key oil wells in the oil-rich hub of Kirkuk and nearby Bey Hassan district.

'The Oil Ministry strongly condemns the seizure and control of crude oil (wells) in the Kirkuk and Bey Hassan oil fields this morning [Friday] by...Kurdish Peshmerga forces,' the ministry said in a statement.

The latest developments come as accusations and counter-accusations have been flying between Baghdad and Arbil in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the Kurdistan region has become a safe haven for the Takfiri terrorists and Ba'athist militants fighting the central government in Baghdad.

In response, Kurdish members of the Iraqi government decided to suspend their participation in the cabinet.

Al-Maliki says Kurds have taken advantage of the circumstances and expanded their grip on Iraqi lands.

In recent weeks, Iraqi Kurds have expanded their territory by up to 40 percent as the Takfiri militants of the ISIL seized areas in the west and north of the country.

The premier has warned the KRG against a decision to hold a referendum on the fate of Kirkuk. Premier al-Maliki has strongly rejected the attempts by the KRG to hold the referendum as unconstitutional, saying that it would "damage them a lot."

Al-Maliki said the KRG is burning bridges with Baghdad, which would backlash, as both the militants and Kurdish leadership will eventually lose.

The Iraqi government has also repeatedly slammed the Kurdistan region for exporting oil without Baghdad's consent.

JR/AB/SS



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