Iraqi Security services place fuel blockade on Khanaqin

September 29, 2017 at 11:07 am

A petrol station closed its doors in Khanaqin due to lack of petrol (photograph: Hawre Azad, 27 September 2017)

Iraqi security forces have prevented fuel from reaching the Kurdish majority town of Khanaqin in Diyala province for three days,  say government officials in the area.

The last fuel tanker reached Khanaqin on 24th of September one day before the Kurdistan region with the disouted territories voted in a referendum in which close to 93% opted to secede from Iraq.

“At the Imam Wais checkpoint under the authority of Tigris Operation Command, fuel tankers are prevented from heading to Khanaqin,” said Amal Omran the head of Energy Committee at Diyala Provincial Council.

Omran said she has been in touch with the head of the Diyala provincial council and the head of Tigris Operation Command and they have promised to resolve the issue.

Khanaqin is 178km to the northeast of Baghdad (Googlemaps)

“Two tankers travelled towards Khanaqin today but they were prevented from continuing their journey at the Imam Wais checkpoint,” Omran told Kirkuknow on Wednesday.

Khanaqin and other disputed territories in Diyala province took part in the Kurdistan plebiscite on September 25 against the repeated directive issued from the central government in Baghdad. Baghdad has warned severe consequences for the Kurdistan regional government and it is expected to close the Kurdish airspace on Friday evening. It is not clear if the measures taken in Khanaqin area are part of the puntitive measures that Baghdad is taking against the Kurdish areas.

“No fuel has reached Khanaqin since 24th of Spetmber, one day before the referendum,” said Khalifa Nazim the owner of a petrol station in Khanaqin. “In the past, we would receive a 36,000 litre fuel tanker every week.”

Apart from petrol, there has been shortages of gas and heating oil. “At the department of petroleum product, fuel has been allocated to the Khanaqin area but the security forces prevent the fuel from reaching there,” said a source inside oil depot in Khanaqin.

The militants of the Hashd (Popular Mobolisation Forces) prevented people from Khanaqin area to travel to Baghdad on Tuesday, September 26.



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