An Iraqi soldier secures a burning pipeline near Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Yahya Ahmed, File)
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Iraqi forces are preparing an operation to consolidate control of an area near the Iran border to be used for the transit of Iraqi oil, two officials said Monday, highlighting concern about mountainous terrain where two armed groups are active.Iraq and Iran have agreed to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced from Kirkuk for Iranian oil to be delivered to southern Iraq.Kirkuk crude sales have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of Daesh.
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