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Katyusha rockets hit Emirati-owned gas complex in Iraqi Kurdistan

This file picture shows a view of the Khor Mor complex, which lies between the cities of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah, in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. (Via Twitter)

A number of Katyusha rockets have struck a gas complex in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, in the latest attack to target the facility owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) energy firm Dana Gas.

“It is still not yet clear if there was any damage” in the Monday evening attack on the Khor Mor complex, said Ramak Ramadan, district chief of Chamchamal where the facility is located.

The gas complex lies between the northern Iraqi cities of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah, in a region administered by Kurdish authorities.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sadiq Mohammed, an official from the adjacent Qadr Qaram district, said in a statement to the Kurdish-language Kurdistan 24 television news network that the attack was carried out using three Katyusha rockets, without causing any casualties.

Other reports said five rockets were used in the attack.

Earlier in June, the Emirati-owned facility was targeted three separate times by rockets that did not cause casualties or damage. No one claimed responsibility for those attacks either.

A Katyusha rocket on June 25 targeted the Khor Mor gas complex.

“The rocket hit around 500 meters outside the complex,” a local official said at the time. There was no immediate claim for the attack.

Katyusha rocket attacks hit the same facility on June 22 and June 17, also without causing casualties or damage.

Energy infrastructure elsewhere in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has also come under attack in recent months.

Rockets struck the Kawergost refinery, northwest of the regional capital of Erbil, in April and May.

The assaults have come amid a simmering oil dispute between Kurdistan and the federal government in Baghdad.

The Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been in a long-standing dispute over Baghdad’s share of Kurdish petrol, with the Iraqi government demanding full control of the region’s crude for years.

Under a deal between the two sides, the Kurdish region delivers 250,000 of its more than 400,000 barrels of daily oil output to Baghdad, in return for its share of the federal budget.

Over the past years, multiple reports have revealed that Iraqi Kurdistan is secretly selling oil to Israel at heavily discounted prices and that more than two-thirds of the occupying regime’s oil has been imported from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper said in a report in March 2019 that Israel was buying significant amounts of Iraqi oil from certain parties and “mafias” in the Kurdistan region for prices as low as $16 or $17 dollars.

British daily the Financial Times had earlier reported that Israel had obtained 75 percent of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kurdistan’s secret dealings with Israel, which also include the region’s reported cooperation with the Israeli spy agency Mossad, come as Iraq’s parliament has recently passed a law making it illegal for the country to ever normalize its relations with the Tel Aviv regime.

The passage of the law cemented the Arab country’s invariable and age-old policy of refusing to recognize the occupying regime.

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