ERBIL — Due to smuggling oil from Qayyara fields, southern Nineveh province, by the Shi’ite Arab militias of Hashd al-Shaabi, Iraqi army closed Qayyara floating bridge.
A security source from Nineveh police said on Thursday that Qayyara floating bridge has been closed for seven days, and may remain closed for another four days, causing difficulties for the movement of residents of the region.
The reason behind the closure of the bridge is tensions between the Iraqi army troops controlling the bridge and the Shi’ite militias of Imam Ali Brigade because of the latter’s control of oil wells in the region and selling the crude oil through illegal means, Captain Zakaria Shawkat form Nineveh police told BasNews.
He noted “This prompted one of the officers to remove one of the pieces of the bridge under the pretext of maintenance to block the way of the tank trucks coming to and from oil wells in Qayyarah.”
Moreover, the residents of Qayara called on the local and federal governments to soon open the bridge to lift the burden of having to take difficult alternative routes to travel.
Qayyara town, located 45 km south of Mosul, was taken by Islamic State militants following the fall of Mosul into the group’s grip in mid-2014. The Iraqi army and US-led coalition liberated the district on August 24, 2016. The town has large fields of oil, containing dozens of wells, some of which IS militants set on fire upon retreating from the town.