Islamic State torches oil wells near Tikrit as Shiite militia advance


Ajil oil well near Tikrit on fireIslamic State militants have set fire to oil wells northeast of the city of Tikrit, a witness said, to obstruct an assault by Shi’ite militia fighters and Iraqi soldiers trying to drive them from the Sunni Muslim city and surrounding towns.

The witness and a military source said Islamic State fighters ignited the fire at the Ajil oil field to shield themselves from attack by Iraqi military helicopters.

The offensive is the biggest Iraqi forces have yet mounted against IS, which has declared an Islamic caliphate on captured territory in Iraq and Syria and spread fear across the region by slaughtering Arab and Western hostages and killing or kidnapping members of religious minorities like Yazidis and Christians.

Black smoke could be seen rising from the oil field since Wednesday afternoon, said the witness, who accompanied Iraqi militia and soldiers as they advanced on Tikrit from the east.

Control of oil fields has played an important part in funding Islamic State, even if it lacks the technical expertise to run them at full capacity.

Before it took over Ajil last June, the field produced 25,000 barrels per day of crude that were shipped to the Kirkuk refinery to the north-east, as well as 150 million cubic feet of gas per day piped to the government-controlled Kirkuk power station.

An engineer at the site, about 35 km (20 miles) northeast of Tikrit, told Reuters last July that Islamic State fighters were pumping lower volumes of oil from Ajil, fearing that their primitive extraction techniques could ignite the gas.

Bombing in August damaged the Ajil field’s control room, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The outcome of the battle for Tikrit, best known as the home town of executed Sunni president Saddam Hussein, will determine whether and how fast the Iraqi forces can advance further north and attempt to win back Mosul, the biggest city under Islamic State rule.

The army, backed by Shi’ite militia and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, has yet to reconquer and secure any city held by Islamic State, despite seven months of air strikes by a U.S.-led coalition, as well as weapons supplies and strategic support from neighboring Iran.

Qassem Suleimani , the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards elite the Quds Force, has been described by the intelligence community as the “most powerful operative in the Middle East today and the sole Iranian authority on Iraq.” He has been organizing Iraqi forces and have become the de facto leader of Iraqi Shiite militias that are the backbone of the fight. He was reportedly injured earlier this year  in Samara and was flown for treatment in Tehranbut returned 2 days ago to lead the battle for retaking Tikrit , Saddam Hussein's hometown, from Islamic State
Qassem Suleimani , the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards elite the Quds Force, has been described by the intelligence community as the “most powerful operative in the Middle East today and the sole Iranian authority on Iraq.” He has been organizing Iraqi forces and have become the de facto leader of Iraqi Shiite militias that are the backbone of the fight. He was reportedly injured earlier this year in Samara and was flown for treatment in Tehran but returned in time to lead the battle for retaking Tikrit , Saddam Hussein’s hometown, from Islamic State

Tehran, not Washington, has been the key player in the current offensive, with Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Soleimani seen directing operations on the eastern flank, and Iranian-backed militia fighters leading much of the operation.


Soldiers and militia are also advancing along the Tigris river from the north and south of Tikrit, preparing for a joint offensive which is expected in coming days. They are likely to attack first the towns of al-Dour and al-Alam to the south and north of Tikrit.

Their approach has been slowed by roadside bombs, snipers and suicide bomb attacks.

An Islamic State suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden tanker on Wednesday night into a camp on the eastern edge of al-Dour, killing a leader of the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Madi al-Kinani, and four others, a military source said.

Al-Ahd, the militia’s television channel, confirmed Kinani’s death on Thursday, when he was buried in the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, south of the capital Baghdad.

A police source in Salahuddin province, where Tikrit is located, said an eight-vehicle convoy of Islamic State insurgents attacked Iraqi forces at dawn on Thursday in al-Muaibidi, east of al-Alam. The source said the army returned fire, killing four militants and burning two of their cars.

An online video published early on Thursday purported to show Islamic State militants in Tikrit and al-Alam, taunting their attackers.

“Here we stand in central Tikrit, that’s the mosque of the martyrs behind us… You claimed, as usual that you raided the Sunnis and their homes and have claimed al-Dour, al-Jalam, al-Alam, Tikrit and others. By God, you have lied,” a fighter said.

In Baghdad, 10 people were killed on Thursday in a series of bomb attacks and mortar fire, police and medical sources said.

The deadliest incidents were in the southeastern, Sunni neighborhood of Nahrawan where three people were killed by a bomb in a market, and the northern district of Rashidiya where three soldiers were killed by two roadside bombs.




30 responses to “Islamic State torches oil wells near Tikrit as Shiite militia advance”

  1. MekensehParty Avatar

    And people still think Obama got it all wrong.
    Here are the Iraqi army, Shiite militias and Iranian fighters doing the exact same work that American soldiers did throughout the occupation. Moving house to house, getting sniped, getting blown…
    This is strategic perfection, achieving your objective with not one American drop of blood being shed
    But rather the bloodshed of ALL those who fought and killed American soldiers back in the days.
    How the table turns…

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Even copied Saddam’s oil fires …. Do they have the expert fire-brigade guys to blow them out now?
      Even One? The old boys here are few and far between – and who is going to volunteer THIS time?

      1. MekensehParty Avatar

        Some Canadians might be called again to handle all that 😉

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Thanks Mekenseh ….

    2. zabada Avatar

      If Syiah failed in Tikrit,Isis will expanding to Baghdad,that means all part of Iraq is in the hand of isis.I see syiah hegemony seem to decline in Iraq at least 10 years in future.In common Iran don,t intervene.All monarchy countries sided with America,even its civilians are not.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Except ASSad Kingdom, of course. The others enjoy doing business.
        I Still think the Tunisian was the smartest .. ‘You don’t want me?? Well. Sniff. I’ll just pick up all my marbles, and go. It’s all yours now.’ :-))

        1. zabada Avatar

          America and israel try to destroy iran by by creating war among syiah and Sunnis.Started in Iraq by dethrone Saddam and favor politic to syiah..America let Al Baghdadi to organize Sunnis militant even in America prison in Iraq.When Syiah defeated in Iraq ,Iran will intervene.That why now America pretend to ally with Iran to defeat isis and always urge Iran to strike on Isis.When Iran intervene America will pull out in he left Iran a lone to fight isis.In America and Israel plan,Sunnis countries at the area will intervene to save sunnis from syiah oppress.Then Sunnis will defeat Iran and destroyed the strong enemy to israel.Unfornutely,America and Israel plan is not fully working .Iran is not intervene..and Sunnis countries sided America.Isis grew stronger and scare them,because Ameria who are killing 1.5 of sunnis in Iraq.America and israel are scare and thinks isis will revenge on them.That why America said isis will strike in America.Israel is annoying on iran nuclear,because sunnia not destroy Iran yet.Nethayu is angry and impatiently because their plan is not fully working as its draft before 9 11.Arrogant and evil people will not waiting patiently.America and israel is planning to destroy Iran by using Arab sunnis as their tool.At least America and israel destroyed Saddam gov who confront israel and America hegemony in middle east,who are deserve to control politic and Arab,s oil.They have their plan and god has his.

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            All in all … “What a revolting development.” (Durante) :-))

    3. He could not get it more wrong then that.
      They are fighting for Iran not Iraq or the US.
      The US gave Iran an army…and Kerry keeps “observing”
      If that was the plan then it’s flawless.any thing but that, it’s all one big flaw

      1. MekensehParty Avatar


        1. Worried more like it.

          1. MekensehParty Avatar

            That’s because you listened too much to what bibi tells you
            Start following Dagan for instance, he has a much more realistic story

          2. How obnoxious of you, telling others who to follow. who the fuck do you think you are?
            you are nothing but a traitor and sell out so you are the last traitor and conspiracy theorist one should listen too. “the evidence is staring you in the eyes”, did you use that in your thesis yet? hahahaha

          3. If you ever read my comments on the subject you’d know im not bibi supporter, this remark is out of place.
            Im worried cause ,as i said,the US built an army for iran to take over iraq and Syria.
            What worries me most is the possibility its part of a new ME policy from the white hous.

          4. “What worries me most is the possibility its part of a new ME policy from the white house.”

            That is exactly what is happening. They gave afghanistan, iraq, syria, lebanon and yemen to iran. the americans are the air force for soleimani in iraq atm.

          5. ..could be just another mistake in the unending chain of mistakes coming from Obama/Kerry production line

          6. MekensehParty Avatar

            When you support bibi’s lies you are a de facto supporter of bibi. Many Israelis in government, intelligence and military are saying that the reasons given to you to make you worried are lies, yet you insist on believing bibi’s story. Doesn’t that make u a supporter?
            When you say “the U.S. built an army for Iran to take over Iraq and Syria” isn’t that a pure lie devoid of all kind of truth meant to spread falsehood?
            Cmon doron…

          7. i’m sorry but i do not agree with you at all.not on the nuke and even less regarding Iraq!you call it a lie cause you trust Obama to have some kind of master plan. you believe him while keeping eyes shut for the blunder that is , in my opinion, a catastrophy to ME.
            you say it’s a lie but at best it could be a miss read of the conditions on the ground- don’t call me a lier.

            let’s examin facts on the ground, shall we?
            reality is- this army is fighting with US equipment,
            his army is fighting under and for Kuds general staff .
            the US were not even informed on this assult, you’re excluded from the decicion making circle by Iran.
            US started the job thinking it will create a national Iraqi armi but in reality this is a mostlyt shia force and from what we hear and see – they are not so different from Daesh.
            No my friend- it is no lie and no misreading on my behalf- the |army US built is working for Iran.

          8. MekensehParty Avatar

            There is a plan doron, a plan that takes into consideration Israel’s security FIRST and FOREMOST! It is called peace and stability in the region from which ALL will benefit!
            Let’s talk facts:
            Israel’s military supremacy, the true subject of the nuclear talks, is no longer sustainable. You can no longer stop big countries in the region from reaching an equal military level to Israel. Russia, China and many other countries can and will supply them with the technologies and the weapons.
            Keeping the enemy weak, a long time Israeli policy, cannot endure forever. Eventually (and some argue that it is the case already with KSA) a nuclear power will arise in the ME to challenge Israel’s supremacy.
            These policies are therefore now failing, and so what should be done? Attempts to delay them in the past worked only to buy some time before a new and more vicious threat appears, before deeper centrifuges are discovered… Bombing them bolsters their will and more people are recruited to the cause. What a catch 22 right?
            Here’s an idea: how about we forget what the whole fuss is about and start drafting some peace plans?
            The message was sent to the Iranians and while the leadership first refused it, the population adopted it and toppled the leadership in the biggest elections of the country. The answer from the Iranian population was Yes to peace.
            Of course there are those who do not personally benefit from the peace: the Iranian leadership, most dictators around who all were able to sustain their dictatorships on the principles of resistance AND their Israeli clones on the opposite side who came to power under resistance and protection (from genocide ?!?!?) platforms. And all they’ve been trying to do is torpedo the peace between majorities of peoples who wish to live peacefully together.
            This is the plan doron, it’s a majority plan and it will work. We’re hoping that the Israeli majority will soon lean towards it.
            As for the Iranian/shia army in Iraq, they are doing the job that American troops did for years but this time mostly on Iran’s dime, not the US. We’re bombing from the above and they go die cleaning on the ground. One thing is for sure, they will not be able to hold ground in these Sunni fortresses without a deal with the locals. Even the US army couldn’t do that. If they don’t they will face continuous insurgency and heavy losses and Isis will reappear under multiple faces and names. And if the air support stops, the Sunnis will be on the doors of Baghdad in weeks. The theory that the US is strengthening Iran in Iraq is false. All of these “victories” that the shia army is boasting about are illusionary. They will go back to their regions after paying with blood the cleaning of Isis.

          9. VERY WELL said Doron.
            You nailed it my friend.
            As for mek calling you a liar, don’t worry about him. The hypocrite can insult others but doesn’t like it when the insults are returned.
            I have been reading the comments between you and him, you have continually maintained being civil while mek has continually insulted you.
            Congrats for being the better man.

    4. wargame1 Avatar

      They brought the Daeshbags in when the sunni resistance were doing good against Maliki. And now they can bomb and kill any one in the name of attacking Daesh. Do you remember how the Maliki solders took their pants off and flee leaving behind the american arms for Daesh? They are fighting against the main sunni resistance group. Well in some cases they may fight Daesh because its a war of conquest and greed and all the greedy bastards are drawn in to it.

      1. MekensehParty Avatar

        Nobody brought daesh but the Iraqis themselves. Daesh grows wherever they’re welcome and bites the dust wherever they’re not. The Iraqis welcomed them and supported them and still do until now.
        Don’t shift blame please, the Iraqi and Syrian Sunnis are to blame for the appearance and spreading of daesh.
        You’re going to tell me that the Syrians who found the courage to fight bashar the monster do not have the courage to fight Baghdadi the monster? Where are the fights against daesh from the population, where’s their resistance if they truly don’t want daesh?
        Silence means acceptance at least…

        1. Where’s your evidence?
          Let me guess, it’s “staring me in the eyes”?
          Have you tried using that in a thesis? Or any other type of scholarly paper?
          Btw, you lying conspiracy theorist, did you bother noticing that even the sunni tribes are attacking daash? Or you pick and choose what you notice, if something doesn’t fit in with your twisted conspiracy then you conveniently don’t notice it!

        2. “You’re going to tell me that the Syrians who found the courage to fight
          bashar the monster do not have the courage to fight Baghdadi the

          Just in case you didn’t notice, even though the evidence “is staring you in the eyes”, al nusra and others HAVE fought isis. You lying deceptive whore. You and hind are one and the same. That is how low you have stooped. bravo

        3. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Apparently, some townsfolk stood up to save a ‘Crooked Tower’ ….. just noting it …

          1. MekensehParty Avatar

            It’s about time

  2. wargame1 Avatar

    Its a sign of defeat of the Daesh Dogs when they torch the precious oil then it shows that they know very well that they wont be able to control those oil anymore.

    1. man-o-war Avatar

      I agree, daeshbags are losing and will lose. Unfortunately, it won’t be the end of the fighting between Sunnis and Shi’ite, it will just take another form. It will go on for as long as religions think their superior to another and refuse to accept that some think differently than others. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, respect is key. As far as I can tell fanatical Sunni and Shi’ite don’t respect each other. They refuse to accept the others as equal.

      The best part is there is no proof that GOD even exists/or doesn’t exist. Nobody knows what happens when we die. What we do know is your body withers away into nothing but bones.

      1. wargame1 Avatar

        Daesh are Khawarij they are not sunni nor shia

      2. 5thDrawer Avatar

        One ‘sign’ to contemplate, Man-O 😉

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