The Iraqi government is claiming success against ISIL militants, saying it has now regained almost total control over the Baiji oil refinery, the country’s largest. It follows weeks of intense fighting for control.
Baghdad has also moved to revive the militia-led defence policy previously tried out by the Americans with success against al-Qaeda, meeting with local Sunni representatives in al-Anbar province and announcing it will arm anti-ISIL tribal forces.
“The process of arming the tribes begins today. We are ready to receive lists of names of volunteers and their equipment and to supply their areas with what they need, be that food, detergents, or hygiene supplies. We will help and contribute in providing all their weapons or logistic needs,” said Iraq’s parliamentary Speaker Salim al-Jibouri.
As ISIL starts being squeezed in Iraq in Syria as well it is coming under increased pressure, with intensifying airstrikes around Kobani and now the news the Kurds have cut a vital supply road between the besieged town and Raqa province, ISIL’s heartland in Syria.