An assault on 27 February on a convoy belonging to Oryx Petroleum near the drilling site at the Swiss-based independent’s Hawler block left four injured in what appears to be the most serious attack to date on the oil industry in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), MEES learns.

A coordinated explosion of three Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) resulted in one injured Oryx employee. Kurdish Peshmerga troops rushed to the aid of the convoy, which was being supervised by security firm GardaWorld. The attackers then opened fire injuring three Peshmerga. Broadly speaking, security in the Kurdish region has backed up KRG claims of being a haven of relative stability. There have been a few minor shooting incidents near or around drilling sites, notably in the south of the KRG, but these have been the result of arguments with disgruntled locals. By contrast the Hawler attack was clearly an organized attempt on the part of a well-resourced and trained attacker to inflict maximum casualties (MEES, 4 January). (CONTINUED - 290 WORDS)