Pentagon hails Iraqi forces advance in Baiji

Iraqi army makes progress in advancing towards Baiji oil refinery, according to the Pentagon

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US Department of Defence has released a statement saying that Iraqi armed forces supported by the popular mobilisation forces, Hashd al-Shabi, and the US-led international coalition, has made great progress in their battle against ISIS as they advance towards Baiji oil refinery - one of the largest refineries in Iraq.

According to the Pentagon, Iraqi forces succeeded in opening the gas supply line into the city.

However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, Steve Warren, said "the Pentagon could not confirm the full control of the city or the refinery," adding that the "Iraqi forces began to progress to the city centre and began the process of recapturing the region."

The Pentagon statement came hours after US President Barack Obama's admission that Washington does not yet have a "full-fledged strategy" to help Iraq regain its territory from the hands of ISIS.

The US president also stressed the need for full commitment to fight ISIS from the Iraqis themselves.

Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met on the sidelines of a summit of the seven industrialised nations in Germany (G7) on Monday, in which Obama vowed to continue equipping the Iraqi army.

Despite the continuing air strikes of the coalition led by the United States, on ISIS positions, the militants managed to capture the city of Ramadi in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in May, expanding their control over the country since the group seized the city of Mosul last year.

TRTWorld and agencies