Iraqi Forces Enter Baiji Refinery

Iraqi Forces Enter Baiji RefineryIraqi Forces Enter Baiji Refinery

Iraqi security forces entered the country’s largest refinery for the first time on Tuesday after months of battling IS militants who had surrounded it, a police colonel and state television said.

If confirmed, the recovery of the facility could provide critical momentum for government forces charged with restoring stability in a country facing its worst security crisis since dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

“The first Iraqi force, the anti-terrorism force called Mosul Battalion, entered Baiji refinery for the first time in five months,” police colonel Saleh Jaber, of the Baiji refinery protection force, told Reuters.

State television flashed news of the advance and broadcast what it said was live footage of the complex from outside its walls. No security forces were visible.

The IS seized the city of Baiji and surrounded the sprawling refinery during that first advance in June.