• Troops loyal to Iraq’s central government are now in full control of Baiji town
  • Isis militants were driven out on 20 October
  • Baiji town lies 8 kilometers from Iraq’s largest refinery

Troops loyal to Iraq’s central government are now in full control of the town of Baiji, which lies 8 kilometers away from the country’s largest refinery.

Government forces and affiliated paramilitary organisations drove militants from the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) out of the town on 20 October, according to Joint Military Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, who spoke to the news organisation Associated Press.

Rasool did not give details about the battle for the town.

Isis captured Baiji and then parts of the nearby oil refinery when it captured large swathes of Iraqi territory in June 2014.

The area around the refinery has been the scene of fierce fighting since then, with territory frequently changing hands.

The strategic value of taking control of the refinery has diminished due to the fact it is no longer operational, but controlling the area still retains a significant symbolic value, according to analysts.

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