Iraqi fighters, Shiite militias retake Baiji from ISIS

Security officials say Iraqi fighters along with Shiite militias recaptured Baiji from ISIS militants

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A member from the Iraqi security forces guards as smoke rises from Baiji oil refinery, north of Baghdad, Iraq May 26, 2015

Security officials said that Iraqi fighters and volunteer Shiite militia fighters have recaptured Baiji - one of the largest oil refineries in Iraq - from ISIS militants on Thursday.

The refinery is one of the central points in the country and has changed hands many times since ISIS militants launched attacks on the area last year. Currently, ISIS controls one third of the territory in Iraq.

A spokesman of Iraq’s counter terrorism forces said that government forces and militias have taken control of the vast energy complex and has been eliminating resistance.

"Counter terrorism forces with volunteers are holding a tight grip over all the gates of the refinery and its facilities," a spokesman for Iraq's counter terrorism force Sabah al Numani said.

Baiji's Mayor Mohammed Mahmoud said that the Iraqi federal police also seized a majority of the town of Baiji.

"I can confirm to you that our forces won the battle of the refinery and for Baiji town. We managed to control almost all parts of the town and now we are surrounding some Daesh [ISIS] snipers entrenched in some buildings," he said.

TRTWorld and agencies