Explosion hits Baku-Tbilisi-Kars-Erzurum gas pipeline in Turkey's northeast
by Daily Sabah
KARS, TurkeyAug 04, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Aug 04, 2015 12:00 am
There has been an explosion in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars-Erzurum gas pipeline, Günay Özdemir, the governor of northeastern Kars province said. The cause of the explosion is unknown and is still being investigated.
Gas flow has stopped in the region following the explosion. Özdemir said that all necessary precautions have been taken after the explosion, and added that the explosion did not affect the nearby forest.
Locals said that the explosion was heard in Kağızman, a district in Kars 20 kilometers away.
A week earlier, the PKK terror organization attacked the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline in the southeastern border province Şırnak.
Having faced heavy criticism by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq following the Friday attack on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline in Şırnak, the PKK's armed People's Defense Force (HPG) released a contradictory statement on Sunday, disowning the attack for which it had taken responsibility.
On Sunday, the HPG issued a statement denying that it had targeted KRG oil pipelines, having announced on July 29 that it carried out a successful attack on a crude oil pipeline. The HPG claimed the units that carried out the attacks did not know to whom the pipelines belonged, which is seen as doubtful given that the pipelines are near the Iraqi border.
In the wake of the attack, the KRG harshly criticized the PKK on Sunday in a statement released on its website. The KRG emphasized that the recent attacks on pipelines carrying crude oil to Turkey have cost the KRG over $250 million, which is equal to the entire monthly budget for the salaries of the security forces of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The KRG further said that the continuous attacks and theft only lead to a heavy blow to the economic viability of the government and the security of the region. It was also asserted that those supporting thieves and saboteurs will be held accountable for the difficulties they cause.
KRG President Masoud Barzani made another statement on Friday about the PKK, saying that it is responsible for the end of the reconciliation process with Ankara. Barzani also criticized the PKK for overestimating itself. KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani recently branded the PKK, which is headquartered in the region's Qandil Mountains, as "visitors," expecting it to leave. His remark came only days after the chancellor of the KRG's Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) put pressure on the PKK, telling it to leave the Qandil Mountains.