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Rockets Land near US Oil Service Compound in Iraq’s Basra

Rockets Land near US Oil Service Compound in Iraq’s Basra

Monday, 6 April, 2020 - 10:00
An Oil Ministry sign is seen at the Zubair oilfield after a rocket struck residential and operations headquarters of several oil firms in Burjesia, Basra, Iraq, June 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

At least three rockets hit near the site US oil service company Halliburton in Basra in southern Iraq, early on Monday, Iraq's military said, the first such attack in recent months to target US energy interests in Iraq.

The rockets targeted the site of Halliburton in the Burjesia area in the oil-rich Basra province, the military statement said. Two Iraqi security officials and one official at the state-run Basra Oil Company said five rockets struck the area.

A rocket launcher was subsequently found on the Zubair-Shuaiba road by security forces, according to the statement, with 11 unused missiles that were later defused.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

There was no significant damage, the military said, adding that Iraqi security forces in Basra are searching for the perpetrators of the attack.

The district houses foreign oil workers and offices of both foreign and Iraqi oil companies, but has been largely empty in recent weeks after nearly all foreign personnel were evacuated because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran-backed paramilitary groups have regularly been rocketing and shelling bases in Iraq that host US forces and the area around the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Two officials with state-run Basra Oil Company, which oversees oil operation in the south, said the attack had not affected production and export operations.

Halliburton is an American oil service provider working in the Zubair oil field, which is operated by the Italian ENI.

Monday's attack was the first since last summer to target US oil companies working in the oil-rich south.

A rocket struck an oil-drilling site in Basra last June, landing inside a compound housing energy giant Exxon Mobil, Shell and ENI. Three local workers were wounded in that attack.

US workers were evacuated from the site after last year’s attack.

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