Σελίδες

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, 23 September 2016

Iraq oil fires cast doubt on Mosul mission

A fire at one of Iraq’s major oil fields could hinder military and humanitarian efforts as operations to recapture ISIS stronghold of Mosul get underway.

Black smoke continues to billow into the air from the Qayara oil field, damaged by ISIS militants last month as they fled the town, creating health risks for civilians and troops amassing there. The fires are also clogging up the skies in the area, where critically important airstrikes and aerial reconnaissance missions are taking place almost daily.

Located on the west bank of the Tigris River, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Mosul, Qayara has since become an important staging ground for military and humanitarian efforts ahead of the Mosul operation since it was recaptured by Iraqi forces last month.

“Stabilizing Qayara can’t wait - it has to happen now,” Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, told The Associated Press.

“Everything for the Mosul operation hinges on Qayara,” she said. “It’s the staging ground for military forces and it’s where 350,000 of the 1 million people who are expected to flee (Mosul) will either find shelter or pass through.”

There are slow-going Iraqi efforts to contain the fires, but nearly a month after the town was recaptured from the militants, smoke and toxic fumes continue to pollute the air in and around Qayara.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman, Assem Jihad, said Wednesday that ISIS militants set fire to 11 oil wells in Qayara to derail security forces and wreak havoc in the area as they fled. He said fires at nine of the wells have been extinguished, but two continue to burn powerfully.
 [alarabiya.net by Associated Press]
23/9/16

No comments:

Post a comment

Blog Archive