Near West Qurna 1 oilfield

North Basra protests demand dismissal of local commissioner

BASRA – Hundreds of residents from Al-Sadiq district in North Basra demonstrated on Saturday, calling for essential public services and the dismissal of the district commissioner, Yasin Al-Battat. Protesters attribute the area’s poor condition to his leadership.

Haider Mushkel, a protester speaking to 964media, stated, “Today, we held a massive demonstration in front of the Al-Sadiq district commissioner’s building, demanding the most basic citizen rights, which are public services. We reside in a district that houses one of the world’s largest oil fields, West Qurna 1, yet we lack proper roads, infrastructure, and even drinking water.”

West Qurna 1 is a super-giant oil field located in the Basra Governorate in southern Iraq, among the world’s most substantial with billions of barrels of recoverable oil, marking it a cornerstone in Iraq’s oil sector and a significant contributor to the national economy and global oil markets. This field has historically attracted international attention due to its vast reserves and production potential. Until its exit early this year, ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies, played a pivotal role in the operation of West Qurna 1.

Another demonstrator, Maytham Aidan, shared with 964media, “We presented two demands today: the first is the dismissal of the district commissioner, Yasin Al-Battat, and the second is the provision of services to the district. We can no longer stay silent about the deteriorating services.”

“The government has been given a deadline until after the Eid al-Fitr holiday to send a committee from the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to review our demands. Otherwise, we will announce a general strike and close the entrances to the district and the main roads leading to the oil fields,” Aidan added.