BEIRUT

Middle East

Iraqi airstrike kills 30 militants at oil refinery

An Al-Qaeda-inspired militant stands guard at a checkpoint captured from the Iraqi Army outside Baiji refinery, some 250 kilometers north of Baghdad, Iraq June 19, 2014. (AP Photo)

BAGHDAD: A spokesman for Iraqi counterterrorism forces says that government airstrikes have targeted a group of Sunni militants trying to overrun the country's largest oil refinery, and claims as many as 30 insurgents were killed.

Sabah al-Nuaman says that a government plane targeted around eight vehicles attacking military forces defending the Baiji oil refinery north of Baghdad early Friday. Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) extremist group have been trying to capture the Baiji facility from some two weeks.

Nuaman also says that a helicopter gunship hit a house in the town of Qaim near the Syrian border where a gathering of the jihadi group's local leaders was taking place. He says that there were several casualties, but did not have a concrete figure.

An official in the Anbar province operational command confirmed the Qaim airstrike.

 

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