Iraq put out fire at four oil wells in freed town

Smoke rises from clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIS militants in the town of Qayyara, Iraq August 23, 2016. (Reuters)

Iraq has put out fires at four oil wells in the oil-producing region of Qayyara which Iraqi forces recaptured from ISIS last week, Reuters reported the oil ministry as saying on Monday.

“Work is underway to put out flames in the remaining wells or oil spots that Daesh criminal gangs set ablaze before fleeing the city,” Deputy Oil Minister Fayadh al-Nema said in the statement. ISIS is also known as Daesh.

He didn’t say how many fires were still ablaze.

The Qayyara region produces heavy sour crude and has a small refinery to process some of the oil.

On Aug. 23, Iraqi forces swiftly advanced and stormed the center of Qayyara, a district south of the ISIS-held city of Mosul, hours after it launched its operation against the militant group.

Liberating Qayyara is important for the Iraqi forces’ future offensive in recapturing Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul from ISIS.

Mosul fell under ISIS control since June 2014.

The ISIS militant group has also claimed a suicide bombing that killed at least 18 people and injured 26 at a wedding party near the holy Shiite city of Kerbala late on Sunday.

Five assailants including the suicide bomber attacked the celebration in Ain al-Tamr, west of Kerbala in southern Iraq, firing machine guns and throwing hand grenades, the police said. All the attackers were killed by security forces.

The so called ultra-hardline Sunni group has been retreating since last year in the face of government forces backed by a US-led coalition and Iranian-supported Shiite militias.

But it remains in control of parts of northern and western Iraq and continues to claim bombings all over the country, targeting mainly Shi’ite districts and cities.

ISIS claimed a truck bomb that killed at least 325 people in Baghdad’s Karrada shopping street in July, the deadliest attack since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

(With Reuters)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52