Iraqi troops brings back under their control strategic cities on Syrian, Jordan borders

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Iraqi government forces have brought back under their control the strategically important towns on the border with Syria and Jordan, which had been previously captured by the militant group “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL), reports TASS. As Lieutenant General Qassem Ata, the representative of the High Command of the Iraqi Armed Forces reported on Tuesday, the extremists were driven out of town of Al-Walid, located in the western Anbar province on the border with Syria, and out of the village Tureybil on the border with Jordan.

 Security forces have also attempted to release the city of Baiji from the militants, where the country’s largest oil refinery is located. The battles for the refinery have been conducted since June 18.

On Monday evening, the extremists have declared that they took it by storm. Reinforcements were sent to the government forces. As a result of airstrikes on Tuesday morning, 19 people were killed. State television reported that they were ISIL militants. However, according to some media reports, there were women and children among the victims that have been under attack in the residential neighborhoods, where radicals were hiding. According to the National Iraqi News Agency, another 20 Iraqis were killed during the air strike caused by the Syrian fighters in the city of Al Qaim, located on the border with Syria. 93 people were injured. State television channel “Al-Iraqiya” also distributed information that US drones attacked militant positions in Al Qaim. Satellite TV station “Al Arabiya”, citing the local tribes, stated that there were no US drones strikes at all. Pan-Arab TV channel also briefly reported that the White House denies bombing.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who visited Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, said in an interview with US broadcaster CBC that Washington believes it is premature to strike against militant positions of ISIL. Kerry said that “the biggest challenge for Iraqis now is to form a government that would include representatives of all factions and minorities.”

According to the data, distributed by the UN, within 17 days of armed clashes more than one thousand people were killed, including civilians.

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