10 days of fighting for control of the key Baiji oil refinery in central Iraq has ended, and ISIS reports 100 percent control over the complex, which when operational supplies one third of Iraq’s refined petroleum.
The Baiji facility has been offline for days now, as the workers fled the fighting, which has led to gasoline rationing across much of Iraq as supplies are difficult to come by.
ISIS says they don’t intend to keep the refinery under their direct control, but will hand it over to tribal leaders in the area to run. It will be a key to providing ISIS-controlled territory with fuel.
Instead, the ISIS spokesman said the rebels will continue southward along the highway, continuing their advance on the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Iraq has been scrambling to prepare for a defense of Baghdad, though they continue to suffer defeats at the hands of ISIS elsewhere, losing much important territory.