Kurdish PKK guerillas claimed responsibility for an Aug. 5 blast near Refahiye, in eastern Turkey’s Erzincan province, that shut down the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. “Attacks on economic interests have a deterring effect… As long as the Turkish state insists on war, such acts will be naturally carried out,” PKK commander Bahoz Erdal told the pro-rebel Firat news agency. The conduit is expected to remain shut for about 15 days. (AFP, Aug. 8)
Also Aug. 5, the pipeline from northern Iraq’s oil fields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan was shut “for unknown reasons.” The flow was restored after a day. Iraq is pumping oil through its northern pipeline to Turkey at the rate of 430,000 barrels per day (bpd). (Reuters, Aug. 8)
An influential Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament Aug. 9 accused Turkey of undermining Kurdish influence in Iraq. “Turkey has manoeuvred to create an anti-Kurdish [Iraqi] parliament,” Mahmoud Othman told a press conference in Sulaimaniyah. “It is behind the adoption of article 24 of the electoral law as it is trying by all means to reduce the gains made by the Kurds after the fall of Saddam Hussein.” Iraq’s parliament proposed under article 24 of the election bill a deal that will share power equally between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen in the oil-rich Kirkuk region—a move bitterly opposed by the Kurds, given their numerical superiority. (AFP, Aug. 9)
The PKK said Turkish warplanes again bombed abandoned guerrilla camps in northern Iraq July 18. Rebel spokesman Bahrouz Idyal said the attack took place in the Zab region at dawn. He said there were no casualties. (AP, July 18)
See our last posts on Iraq, Turkey, the regional pipeline wars, and Kirkuk and the Kurds.