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But the Kurds—who run an autonomous government in Arbil—and the federal government dispute ownership of Kirkuk’s lucrative oilfields.

IS maintain an ability to perpetrate hit-and-run attacks, operating mainly at night and often exploiting the discord between Baghdad and Arbil.

Iraq is the second biggest producer in the OPEC cartel of oil-producing nations.

Last month the oil ministry said it exported 88.4 million barrels for $5.5 billion.

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