Iraqi forces fire a rocket during an operation to retake the Baiji oil refinery. AFP file photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi security forces broke an Islamic State (ISIS) siege of the key Baiji refinery on Sunday following a joint assault with a Shiite militia and tribal groups, a member of the Salahadin provincial council told Rudaw.
Rashid Bayati said that an oil protection force at Baiji, Iraq’s biggest refinery, had been rescued from an ISIS siege in the assault by the Iraqi Army, the Hash al-Shaabi Shiite militia and a tribal force in the province.
“Parts of the Baiji refinery are still held by ISIS and in order to rescue our forces in the nearby areas we have intensified our attacks in order to defeat the militants,” said Bayati.
In a separate announcement, he said that the joint force had managed to retake control of most of the Hamrin Mountain ridge, which was captured by ISIS two days ago.
Some 30 militants were killed and five armored vehicles plus other heavy weapons were seized, he added. The Hamrin Mountains are a small mountain ridge in northeastern Iraq.