#AceNewsServices – BAGHDAD – Nov.09 – Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State group recaptured the heart and outlying districts of the town of Beiji, home to the country’s largest oil refinery, state television and a provincial governor said Tuesday AP reported.
Retaking Beiji, 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, could allow Iraqi forces a base to attack neighboring Tikrit, taken by the extremists in their lightning advance this summer.
But troops backed by Shiite militias faced pockets of stiff resistance around Beiji, hindering their advance.
The top army commander in Beiji, General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, was quoted by state television as saying that troops had recaptured the city’s local government and police headquarters.
The town is home to the country’s largest oil refinery. Retaking Beiji could allow Iraqi forces to use it as a base to attack neighbouring Tikrit, which was taken by the extremists this summer.
It’s also a morale boost for Iraq’s security forces.