Islamic State recapture parts of northern Iraqi refinery city

December 17, 2014 18:12

BAGHDAD - Islamic State insurgents forced Iraqi forces to retreat on Wednesday after fierce fighting in the city of Baiji, close to the country's biggest oil refinery, a local official and tribal leader said.

Local police and anti-Islamic State fighters tried to repel insurgents for five days, but lack of support and ammunition had forced them to leave their positions in central Baiji to the militants, said Saad Thahir, a Baiji council member.

Before the latest clashes erupted last week, security forces and allied militias had stationed themselves inside the vital refinery facilities and left the defense of the city itself to under-equipped local police and Sunni tribal fighters.

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