Iraq Recaptures Baiji from ISIL*
The Iraqi Defense Ministry says army soldiers and volunteer forces have gained control over the country’s northern oil refinery city of Baiji from ISIL militants.
The Defense Ministry made the announcement on Sunday.
“Forces have cleansed and are in control completely of government complex, city center, Fatah mosque (main mosque) and surrounding neighborhoods,” Brigadier General Tahseen Ibrahim, a spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry, said.
The commander of the Interior Ministry’s Quick Reaction Forces, Brigadier General Nassir al-Fartousi, also said the Iraqi flag has been raised on a local government building in the city in Salahuddin Province.
Representatives of volunteer forces fighting with the Iraqi army have also confirmed that the entire city has been liberated.
Reports say ISIL militants have fled toward Mosul.
Baiji, which lies north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, is located on a main road to the northern ISIL-held city of Mosul, the country’s second largest city.
Baiji fell to ISIL terrorists last year, but Iraqi forces later managed to regain control over parts of the city and the oil refinery.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been witnessing unrest since ISIL militants started their campaign of terror in early June 2014. Iraq’s army has been joined by Kurdish forces, as well as Shia and Sunni volunteers in operations to drive the ISIL terrorists out of the areas they have seized.
ISIL militants have been committing atrocities against all minority groups in the region. They currently control some areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The Takfiri group has been using oil facilities in the region to help finance its deadly operations.
The Iraqi volunteer forces destroyed a strategic base of the Takfiri terrorists in a special operation in Nineveh province.
A group of special forces of Iraqi resistance troops raided and destroyed ISIL’s main base in Nineveh province in Haman al-Alil district in the city of Nineveh.
Tens of ISIL terrorists, including their commander, were killed in the Iraqi forces’ raid on Hamam al-Alil.
Nineveh is an ancient Mesopotamian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in Nineveh province.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
The Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s Pishmarga forces discovered and destroyed a chemical bomb of the ISIL terrorist group near Makhmour, 50 kilometers Southwest of Erbil.
“The bomb was abandoned by the ISIL insurgents when the Kurdish forces drove them back from the area.” Pishmarga Spokesman for the Makhmour frontline Ahmad Anwar told BasNews.
“The Pishmarga and foreign experts destroyed the bomb safely,” he said.
“It is believed that the bomb contained chlorine gas, which was manufactured to target the Kurdish forces,” the spokesman further added.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop previously warned that the ISIL fighters were capable of building chemical weapons which had the potential to cause a humanitarian disaster.