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US hails Iraqi forces on recapture of Baiji refinery

WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (KUNA) -- The US on Thursday congratulated the Iraqi army for retaking the country's largest oil refinery in Baiji, south of Mosul, from the grip of ISIL.
"We congratulate the Iraqi security forces on breaking the siege at Baiji refinery," said the State Department's Press Relations Director Jeff Rathke.
"Iraqi forces have started deliberate clearing and cleanup in the oil refinery compound. They are also no longer besieged and are able to resupply over land," he added.
"So isolated fighting is ongoing in the area near the refinery, as we understand, but we also understand there's steady progress by Iraqi forces fighting ISIL house-to-house in Baiji city." The recapture of the facility represents Baghdad's biggest success so far in the fight against ISIL.
"The Iraqi security forces are removing improvised explosive devices and other explosives in place by ISIL and returning the city to its citizens," Rathke concluded. (end) ys.sd