News Column

Iraqi Army Claims It Has Retaken Refinery, Border Crossings

June 24, 2014

EFE Ingles

Baghdad, Jun 24 (EFE).- Army troops have taken complete control of the Baiji refinery, Iraq's largest petroleum refining complex, and killed more than 60 insurgents in the past few hours, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta said Tuesday.

Government forces have also retaken two border posts that have been the scene of fighting for several days, Atta said.

"We continue repulsing the attacks by the terrorist gangs of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Baiji. We have killed 19 in aerial attacks around the refinery," Atta said in a press conference in Baghdad.

The Baiji refinery is in Saladin province, located north of Baghdad.

The general denied reports that the jihadists captured the refinery with the assistance of tribal leaders, but it is difficult to verify which version is correct.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, urged the leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to work to end the crisis and help form a new government.

Kerry met in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party leader Borham Saleh.

The U.S. official told Kurdish leaders that they must play a role in the future of Iraq and in forming the next government, a Kurdish government official told Efe. EFE

ah/hv

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Original headline: Iraqi army takes control of key refinery, kills over 60 insurgents


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Source: (c) 2014 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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