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Iraq forces break jihadist siege of main oil refinery

An Iraqi soldier walks through Jurf al-Sakhr after regime forces retook the town from Islamic State militants on October 27, 2014Iraqi forces broke the Islamic State group’s months-long siege of the country’s largest oil refinery Saturday as America’s top officer flew in to discuss the expanding war against the jihadists. Completely expelling IS fighters from the area around the refinery would be another significant achievement for Baghdad, a day after pro-government forces retook the nearby town of Baiji. Three military officers confirmed that Iraqi forces had reached the refinery, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Baghdad, where security forces have been surrounded and under repeated attack since June. This new success for the government came a day after the recapture of nearby Baiji, the largest town to be retaken since IS-led militants swept across Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland in June.

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