Iraq’s major oil refinery ‘seized by rebels’

Rebels in Iraq have reportedly gained full control of the nation’s main oil refinery in Baiji in the northern province of Salahuddin. It had been under siege for 10 days […]

Register now!

By Priyanka Shrestha

Rebels in Iraq have reportedly gained full control of the nation’s main oil refinery in Baiji in the northern province of Salahuddin.

It had been under siege for 10 days and Iraqi security forces have been battling the rebels over the control of the facility, which is said to supply nearly a third of Iraq’s fuel output.

A rebel spokesman told a news outlet the refinery would be handed over to local tribes to administer and the fighters “would continue their march towards Baghdad”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Ibril, northern Iraq, for a second day of talks with the country’s leaders.

He said US support for Iraqi security forces will be “intense and sustained” to help them combat an armed uprising that has swept through the country.

Mr Kerry added it would “allow Iraqi security forces to confront [Isis] more effectively and in a way that respects Iraq’s sovereignty”.