Rocket attack Triggers fire at oil refinery in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD — A rocket attack in northern Iraq on Sunday caused a massive fire to break out in a petroleum refinery, temporarily halting operations, ” the nation’s Oil Ministry said.

The fire struck a gas storage tank in the little Siniya refinery at Salahuddin province.

The flame has been extinguished and operations declared within a couple of hours following the assault, ” the ministry said, mentioning the state-owned Northern Refining Business that conducts the refinery.

The Siniya refinery is close to Iraq’s biggest petroleum refinery, Baiji, which sustained major damage during the war against the Islamic State group. The refinery was overhauled and finally reopened in 2017 after the extremist group’s defeat.

It wasn’t immediately clear who was behind Sunday’s attack. Although IS no more retains land in Iraq, the team keeps sleeper cells and often takes out attacks across portions of the country, such as the north.

Iranian-supported armed groups are also thought to be behind a string of mortar and rocket strikes targeting U.S. pursuits in Iraq, bothersome the Trump government, which at September threatened to shut its embassy in Baghdad when they last.