Iraqi forces stage tit-for-tat battles to regain oil refinery town

Baghdad, (IANS) Iraqi security forces on Sunday retook control of most of the town of Baiji near the country’s largest oil refinery in Salahudin province after fierce clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants, a provincial security source said.

The troops and allied militias, known as Hashd Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation, entered the central part of Baiji, some 200 km north of the capital of Baghdad, after hours of fierce overnight clashes with the extremist militants, the source told Xinhua.

The troops and allied militias are advancing from three directions to free all the small remaining pockets of resistance in the town to move later toward the battleground oil refinery of Baiji, just north of the town, the source said.

Meanwhile, sporadic clashes continued in the partially IS-held oil refinery of Baiji, while tit-for-tat battles continued between the IS militants and the security forces at the bank of Tigris River in east of Baiji, the source added.

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