Iraqi forces prepare to retake Mosul
Militants belonging to ISIL took control of Mosul on June 10. (AFP/File)
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Iraqi military authorities have announced that the nation’s armed forces are gearing up to enter the city of Mosul after reestablishing control over Baiji oil refinery in the strategic Salahuddin Province.
Iraq’s Army Spokesman General Qassim Atta stated on Wednesday that preparations were underway to move in against ISIL militants in Mosul after Iraqi Special Forces regained full control over the nation’s largest petroleum refinery complex in Baiji, taking out at least 40 terrorists in the process.
Takfiri militants from an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacked the refinery from several directions earlier by firing rockets and starting a fire at the key facility.
According to the Iraqi general, one of ISIL leaders in Iraq was among those killed by government forces.
General Atta further reiterated that Iraqi armed forces were also in full control of the cities of Tal Afar and Samarra, which also came under attack by foreign-backed ISIL militants.
Earlier, Iraqi troops took full control of Saqlawiyah district in Anbar Province after heavy clashes with the militants. Nearlyl 250 terrorists were reportedly killed in the clashes.
On June 10, the ISIL militants took control of the Nineveh provincial capital Mosul, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people have been forced out of their homes since the attacks.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has vowed that the country’s security forces would confront the foreign-sponsored terrorists, describing the seizure of Mosul as a “conspiracy."