Section of Iraq-Turkey pipeline cleared from Islamic State explosives

A network of pipeline connecting Iraq’s northern oil fields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. File Photo

Baghdad ( Iraqi security forces have cleared a section an oil pipeline stretching to Turkey from booby-traps left behind by Islamic State militants, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior said on Thursday.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Saad Maan said “bomb squads from the energy security directorate have finished the dismantling and clearing of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline which stretches from Kirkuk province, passing by al-Riyad, Baiji and Mosul to Turkey”.

That pipeline had been under Islamic State control during the militants’ presence, according to Maan.

“After works that lasted for more than one month, the energy security directorate has manage to clear that line from Kirkuk to Baiji…and to lift and dismantle the explosive devices along the line,” Maan said.

He said that more than 900 devices have either been defused or detonated.

Islamic State militants have reportedly both set fire to oil wells and illegally traded in Iraqi oil during their occupation of several Iraqi areas since 2014 before the government declared the group’s defeat earlier this month.

Last Monday, the oil ministry said  it plans to use drones to monitor and protect its oil export and production pipelines starting early 2018.

It unveiled, a week earlier, plans to install a network of pipelines to pump crude oil and refined products across all its territory, as a replacement to more costly and insecure tanker trucks.


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