11/15/2014, 00.00
IRAQ
Send to a friend

Iraq, Army free Baiji from Islamic State control

The area is the largest in the country for oil extraction, it alone accounts for 25% of total production. Control of the area means control of the Islamic extremists supply lines.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Iraqi army has ousted the Islamic State militants from Baiji, a very important center foroil extraction halfway between Baghdad and Mosul. The liberation and control of the area are is a breakthrough in the conflict that pits the government against the Islamic terrorists. It also wipes out a major source of income for the fundamentalists, who smuggle crude oil thus circumventing international economic sanctions.

The announcement of the liberation of Baiji was made by General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi on Iraqi national television. There is still fighting around the refinery - the largest in the country, which alone accounts for a quarter of domestic oil production - but the Islamists are retreating. The Islamic State took control of the area in June 2014, during the advance into northern Iraq that led to the fall of Mosul and the flight of Christians and other religious minorities.

The military operation took place under a massive aerial bombardment. Some officials confirmed the use of huge megaphones to warn about 200 thousand residents of impending danger. According to some experts, if the area is completely freed then it would cut off Islamic State supply lines to Tikrit, which is still occupied.

 

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Retaking Tikrit, a probable victory with major political risks
12/03/2015
Thousands of hectares of crops burn in Iraq. For Iraqi priest, this is bad for the economy
10/06/2019 20:12
Baghdad launches offensive to wrest Tikrit from Islamic State
02/03/2015
Iraqi army (and US) to launch offensive on Mosul in April-May
20/02/2015
Baghdad bans two South Korean companies from oil fields
03/04/2009