ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A number of Islamic State militants launched an attack on Monday evening targeting oilfields near the Iraqi city of Tikrit, which Iraqi security forces say they successfully fended off.
This is the second attack carried out by the jihadist group in the area in just a week, some 40 kilometers east of Tikrit, Salahuddin Province.
Iraq’s Security Media Cell in a statement noted that field guards, with the support of the Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), responded to the attack on the oilfields of Olas.
Violent clashes between the two sides went on for hours, and casualties were not immediately known, a local security source told Kurdistan 24.
Last Wednesday, a number of Islamic State militants attacked a military post where security guards at the oilfields near Mount Olas were stationed.
The Olas oilfields are located in the middle of the Hamrin Heights, where there are untapped oil wells.
On the same day, a fire erupted in one of Ajil oilfield’s natural gas tanks, which the Security Media Cell alleged occurred “during maintenance.”
Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze, the statement added.
Local media reported that the fire may have been caused by Islamic State militants, who also torched oil wells in 2015 when the area was under their control.
Although Iraq declared the military defeat of the Islamic State in December 2017, the terrorist group continues to carry out insurgency-style attacks in formerly liberated areas, like Mosul, as well as even places it never controlled, like the nation’s capital of Baghdad.
Editing by Nadia Riva