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Statement: A Kurdish force controls oil wells belonging to the Iraqi government

The company added that the force came with a technical team from the Kurdish region and took control of some oil wells in the Bay Hassan field of the North Oil Company.

The statement did not say when the force came or whether it was staying there.

For its part, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, in a statement on its official website, denied “all allegations and rumors claiming that the regional government, with the support of an armed force, has occupied and seized several oil fields in Bai Hassan and Daoudkorki of the North Oil Company in Kirkuk.”

She added that “the public wealth, according to the Iraqi constitution, is the property of all Iraqis and not the property of a company, and that the North Oil Company has been working for years under the oil and gas law, violating that constitution, and if it is keen to solve problems, it is necessary to legislate the oil and gas law on basis of the constitution.

She also said that the accusations leveled against the region are far from the truth and only aim to create chaos.

Iraqi forces retook control of the oil fields in Kirkuk from the Kurds in 2017 after a referendum on independence for the Kurdish region.

The Iraqi government responded to that referendum, in which the Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence, by expelling Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from lands claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil city of Kirkuk.

The oil fields in Kirkuk came under the control of the Kurds in 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of ISIS. The Kurdish move prevented militants from taking control of the region’s oil fields.

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