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Steal it or burn it: What ISIS left behind of Iraq's oil wells

By Ayub Nuri 25/11/2016

Muayad, 39 years old, who has been brought by the North Oil Company in Kirkuk to help put out this fire in an oil well in Qayyara, 60km south of Mosul.


Muayad says he has been working around Qayyara for 15 days and he has been doing this kind of job for 19 years now.


They have so far put out three burning oil wells in Qayyara. ISIS militants blew up the capped well when they were under attack from the Iraqi army and coalition jets in August. They hoped to escape air strikes under the cover of the black smoke.


Now the damage is immense. Tons of crude oil is burning every day and with it the ground, farms, homes and trees have turned black and most likely dead for good.


Despite the hazardous job of dealing with fire and toxic smoke from dawn to dusk, Muayad says the fear of ISIS attacks at night is also another menace. When the night falls he and his teammates fear for their lives. Their living quarters are some tents with armed guards.


During his short breaks, Muayad and his friends walk away from the burning oil well and sit down for a smoke.


Mohamedzzz | 25/11/2016
Kurds should liquidate as much ISIS members as they can, otherwise they will escape and go back home to Turkey

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