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Kurds Lose Oil Fields As Iran and U.S. Battle For Influence in Iraq (HBO)

Since the Kurdish referendum on Independence, Iraqi Kurds have lost their president, control of airspace and disputed territories — including the oil rich province of Kirkuk. It’s meant that hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from oil exports in the disputed territories are now entirely under Baghdad’s control.

The Kurdish region is faced with the sudden loss of resources – which had been vital in its push for independence. Meanwhile many Kurds are also angry at their long-standing allies, the US, for not intervening to stop the Kirkuk offensive – which was carried out by Iraqi forces and the Iranian backed Shia paramilitary group the PMU.

Vice News travels to the Baba Gurgur oil field in Iraq’s disputed territories – newly recaptured by Iraqi forces following the Kurdish vote on independence.

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Saudis redevelop flattened Shia town after clashes

Posters of sumptuous villas and palm-fringed boulevards hang in the battle-scarred old quarter of Awamiya, symbols of a controversial Saudi plan to redevelop the Shia-majority town which triggered months of deadly clashes.

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Retaking Mosul: Liberators Not Welcome (HBO)

Not everyone in Mosul and the surrounding areas of Iraq is eager to greet liberation forces.

Iraqi troops along the southern front in the battle to retake Mosul are encountering stronger resistance than they’d expected. This region of Iraq has always been hostile to the government in Baghdad and wary of would-be liberators.

“We had Saddam Hussein. So he was a bad person, right?” Pejwani resident Alshad Naffouri told VICE News correspondent Seb Walker. “But then look what came next! What are you going to do? If you’re going to slaughter me, slaughter me.”

Naffouri does not support ISIS, but he is also skeptical of government forces. Sectarian conflict complicates the situation further, as most locals like Naffouri are Sunni, while the advancing military is predominantly Shia.

Many people like Naffouri fear that the battle for Mosul might only be the start of another bloody chapter in Iraq’s history.

This segment originally aired October 24, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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