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Iraq to Restore Pipeline to Turkey, Bypassing Kurdish Region

FILE - An employee works at an oil field in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

Iraq's Oil Ministry has ordered the restoration of an oil pipeline from the city of Kirkuk to Turkey that would bypass the country's northern Kurdish region in the wake of the area's pro-independence referendum.

Tuesday's development is the second measure that Baghdad has taken over the past two days to isolate the Iraqi Kurdish region.

The pipeline was taken out of service after Islamic State militants swept across much of northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014. A statement from the Iraqi Oil Ministry says it wants to return the pipeline to service as soon as possible.

On Monday, Iraq's central government ordered the Kurdish-based cellular network operators to relocate their headquarters Baghdad.

Iraq's Kurdish region has been exporting some of its oil directly to Turkey.