Iraqi Troops Seize Parts Of Oil-Rich Kurdish Region That Voted For Independence
Iraqi army units on Sunday seized positions in and around Kirkuk, a major oil city that’s dominated by the country’s Kurdish people and which voted for independence last month.
The Iraqi national army has taken control of Kirkuk’s industrial district and oil refinery, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the military.
Reports indicated that the Iraqi troops had not faced any opposition from Kurdish peshmerga militia fighters in the area. The Iraqi units went on the move toward Kirkuk around midnight local time in order to “safeguard” the area, military commanders said.
Oil prices reacted strongly to the news, with Brent crude rising as much as 1 percent to $57.88 a barrel during Asian trade on Monday. U.S. oil futures meanwhile were just below the $52 level.
“Just as the battle against ISIS seems to be finally ending, there is a new theater of battle emerging in Northern Iraq,” John Kilduff, partner at energy-focused investment manager Again Capital, told CNBC.