Iraqi cities face complete power outage after IS targets towers in Kirkuk
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity on Friday announced a total loss of power in the cities of Hawija and Tikrit, stating the Islamic State (IS) was responsible for targeting supply lines.
In a statement, the ministry stated IS, on Thursday night in the village of Birima in Kirkuk, targeted two main electricity lines which deliver power to the cities of Tikrit and Hawija.
The attack led to a complete power outage in the predominantly Sunni cities.
The power grid attack left Hawija, in the southeast of Kirkuk, and Tikrit, in Salahuddin province, in the dark. Electricity was completely cut off, according to the statement.
The ministry explained that an engineering team was able to fix one of the power lines to restore electricity to Tikrit. The engineers began “maintenance work to restore service lines despite the presence of military operations in the area.”
Over the past years, oil pipelines and transmission towers have often been sabotaged by explosions and attacks, for which the Iraqi authorities hold the jihadist group responsible.
IS militants remain active in the southwest of Kirkuk despite Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declaring victory over the group in Dec. 2017.
Nearly 15 years after the fall of the authoritarian system in Iraq, the continuous and consistent supply of electricity in the country remains problematic. The lack of reliable power in Iraq causes many issues as temperatures can go above 50 degrees Celsius in the summer.
Editing by Nadia Riva