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Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government is pushing forward with its independent pipeline exports through the Turkish port of Ceyhan, as it pulls further away from Baghdad. Such exports could in future include crude from the key Kirkuk field.
Sunni rebels have punched through northern Iraq just south and west of the Kurdish region’s borders, effectively forming a buffer between the autonomous territory and the rest of the country.
With Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fighting for survival in the face of the Sunni onslaught led by the fanatical Sunni fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), Kurdish Peshmerga, whose fighting credentials were honed in the harsh mountains of northern Iraq, moved unopposed into the northern oil city of Kirkuk, filling a security gap left by Iraqi security forces. (CONTINUED - 1817 WORDS)