Friday, January 26, 2024

Iraqi Kurdish Gas Field Attack Causes Major Power Outages


Drone Attack on Iraq’s Gas Field Causes Major Power Cuts in Kurdistan Region

A recent drone attack on one of Iraq’s largest gas fields has resulted in a temporary suspension of production, leading to significant power cuts across the country’s northern Kurdistan region. The attack, which occurred at the Khor Mor gas field in the Sulaimaniya region of northern Iraq, caused damage to a liquid gas storage tank but fortunately resulted in no injuries.

The United Arab Emirates-based operator of the field, Dana Gas, confirmed that production was temporarily halted to extinguish the fire caused by the attack. However, they expect operations to resume soon. Despite the lack of a claim of responsibility for the attack, the US Ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, condemned it, highlighting the impact it had on millions of people who were exposed to power outages during the winter season.

The Kurdistan electricity ministry reported a significant drop of 2,800 megawatts in power production as a result of the attack. Local sources have stated that power from the network has been completely absent in the region since the incident occurred.

The Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields, where the attack took place, are two of Iraq’s largest gas fields. They are operated by Pearl Petroleum, a consortium consisting of Dana Gas and its affiliate Crescent Petroleum. These fields play a crucial role in meeting Iraq’s energy needs and supporting economic development.

Iraq has experienced frequent drone and rocket attacks since the start of Israel’s war in Gaza in October. These attacks have primarily targeted military bases housing troops from the US-led coalition. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of hard-line pro-Iran militias, has claimed responsibility for many of these attacks.

In a separate incident on Thursday, an explosive-laden drone targeted US forces at a base near Irbil airport in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region. However, the region’s counter-terrorism service successfully shot down the drone using air defenses, preventing any harm to the personnel or infrastructure.

These attacks highlight the ongoing security challenges faced by Iraq and the Kurdistan region. The use of drones as a weapon has become increasingly prevalent, posing a significant threat to critical infrastructure and civilian populations. It is crucial for authorities to enhance their capabilities in detecting and neutralizing such threats to ensure the safety and stability of the country.

The international community must also play a role in supporting Iraq in addressing these security concerns. Cooperation and intelligence sharing among nations can help identify and dismantle the networks responsible for these attacks. Additionally, providing assistance in enhancing Iraq’s defense capabilities can contribute to deterring future attacks and protecting vital installations.

Efforts should also be made to address the underlying factors that contribute to the proliferation of armed groups and their ability to carry out attacks. This includes addressing political grievances, promoting inclusive governance, and providing economic opportunities for marginalized communities. By addressing these root causes, Iraq can work towards long-term stability and security.

In conclusion, the recent drone attack on Iraq’s gas field has had severe consequences, leading to major power cuts in the Kurdistan region. While the perpetrators remain unknown, it is crucial for Iraq and the international community to work together to enhance security measures, dismantle terrorist networks, and address the underlying causes of instability. Only through collective efforts can Iraq achieve lasting peace and prosperity.

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