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Militants have advanced to Baiji, Iraq’s largest oil refinery, as they continue to claim territory from regions all around the country. Iraq relies on the Baiji oil refinery for their domestic fuel needs, as it is their primary refinery, and is a crucial resource that would dramatically affect the entire country if lost.
According to CNN, Iraqiya News announced Tuesday that, while Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants have attempted to take over the oil refinery, Iraqi military officials have successfully defended it, killing 19 terrorists in the process. However, other Iraqi officials claim that ISIS militants have taken control of the refinery; thus it is unclear at this time who is in control of Baiji.
Iraqi Kurdish president Massoud Barzani is gravely concerned about the country’s fate. During a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, he pronounced that the Iraqi central government is helpless during this time of crisis. He also stated that everything is degenerating, from the troops to the police.
The violent terrorism has impacted everyone in Iraq, including innocent civilians. The United Nations have reported that there have been over 1,000 civilian fatalities since the rampage first began. Citizens who have survived the countless attacks described the events to reporters with the Associated Press as “unimaginable.” Several people claim that ISIS open fires on people attempting to flee from their homes.
Some were shot at by snipers from roof tops, while others had to pretend to be dead in order to stay alive, according to Fox News.