Militants captured Iraq's largest oil refinery Baiji refinery

Jun 19, 2014 15:30 IST

Baiji Oil Refinery: Captured by Militants

Militants on 17 June 2014 captured Iraq's largest oil refinery Baiji refinery. The Baiji refinery is located in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad in Iraq. Militants attacked refinery with machine gun fire and mortars.

Baiji is one of three oil refineries in Iraq and only processes oil from the north. The other two are located in Baghdad and the Southern Iraq which are firmly under government control and are operational.

While most of Iraq's oil and gas fields are in the centre and the south of the country, militants have seized territory in Iraq's oil-producing Kirkuk province.

Analysis


After the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, Iraq has again plunged into sectarian-fuelled violence and chaos.

Terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has routed the Iraqi army in the north of the country and seized the country's second largest city, Mosul.

The country, which was invaded by a coalition led by the US in 2003, has been driven along religious and ethnic lines for the past decade and faces an uncertain future.

At the heart of the conflict is distrust between the two branches of Islam in the country - Sunni and Shia - a divide replicated throughout the Middle East.

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