Rockets target gas field in Iraqi Kurdistan

Pro-Iran militias have targeted oil and gas facilities before, especially near Kalak north of Erbil.

Security men stand in an empty street during a curfew imposed by Iraqi Kurdish authorities, following the outbreak of coronavirus, in Sulaimaniya, in Iraqi Kurdistan, lraq, March 14, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/AKO RASHEED)
Security men stand in an empty street during a curfew imposed by Iraqi Kurdish authorities, following the outbreak of coronavirus, in Sulaimaniya, in Iraqi Kurdistan, lraq, March 14, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AKO RASHEED)

Several rockets were fired at the Khor Mor gas field near Chamchamal in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region overnight on Monday.

The gas field is located near Sueimania, a major Kurdish city near the Iranian border. According to Kurdish Rudaw media, the field is operated by the UAE-based Dana Gas, and was also attacked earlier this year in June.

The Kurdistan region is currently engaged in a dispute with Baghdad about energy exports. Pro-Iran militias have targeted oil and gas facilities before, especially near Kalak north of Erbil. The militias have also targeted US forces and a Turkish base.

“The rockets struck at around 7:50 p.m. on Monday evening, Mayor of Chamchamal district Ramik Ramadhan told Rudaw’s Hemin Baban, adding that the extent of damages made due to the attack remain[s] unclear,” Rudaw reported.  “Ahmed Mufti, Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) natural resources deputy minister, confirmed the news to Rudaw, adding that investigations into the incident have begun.”

Extent of damage

Iraqi Kurdistan (credit: Spesh531/TUBS/CC BY-SA 3.0/(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Iraqi Kurdistan (credit: Spesh531/TUBS/CC BY-SA 3.0/(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The attack supposedly did not impact the field’s production or work and there were no casualties. In contrast, when the field was attacked back in June, the company had to temporarily suspend operations. “Khor Mor field produces 452 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, according to Dana Gas,” Rudaw notes. According to officials in the Kurdistan region, an investigation is ongoing about the attack.

Kurdistan is often a victim of Iranian attacks, attacks by pro-Iranian militias and also by Turkish forces, whose bombardment killed numerous tourists just last week.

The Kurdistan Regional Government put out a statement saying: “We strongly condemn the attack on the Kormor gas field by militias and illegal armed groups today. We call on the Iraqi Federal Government to take the necessary measures to limit and prevent a repetition of these terrorist attacks, which seek to destroy the security and stability of the whole of Iraq and the economic development of the Kurdistan Region.”