Al Qaeda-Iraq captures Tikrit, 145 km northwest of Baghdad

In a lightening push, ISIS fighters Wednesday swept through the Iraqi oil refinery and electricity power center of Biji (Baiji), 200 km southeast of Mosul, torched the court and policy buildings and warned local police and soldiers not to challenge them. They contacted the most prominent tribal sheikhs in Biji via cellphone and told them: 'We are coming to die or control Biji, so we advise you to ask your sons in the police and army to lay down their weapons and withdraw.' They next moved on to seize Hawajah and conquered Tikrit, 140 km northwest of Baghdad. With the Mosul refinery, the Islamists now control Iraq’s northern oil refining facilities as well as the power center supplying Baghdad and Kirkuk. Their push has so far met with no military resistance.


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