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Iraqi forces fight for control of oil refinery

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 19, 2014 at 9:49 a.m.

a-column-of-smoke-rises-from-an-oil-refinery-in-beiji-some-250-kilometers-155-miles-north-of-baghdad-iraq-thursday-june-19-2014-the-fighting-at-beiji-comes-as-iraq-has-asked-the-us-for-airstrikes-targeting-the-militants-from-the-islamic-state-of-iraq-and-the-levant

A column of smoke rises from an oil refinery in Beiji, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, June 19, 2014. The fighting at Beiji comes as Iraq has asked the U.S. for airstrikes targeting the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

BAGHDAD — Iraqi soldiers and helicopter gunships battled Sunni militants for a third day Thursday for control of Iraq's largest oil refinery.

The two sides held different parts of the sprawling Beiji facility, which extends over several square kilometers of desert. The facility accounts for just over a quarter of the country's entire refining capacity and goes toward domestic consumption for gasoline, cooking oil and fuel for power stations.

The militants, led by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, likely hope to get millions of dollars in revenue from operating the refinery, as they did for a while after seizing oil fields in neighboring Syria.

President Barack Obama is expected to discuss U.S. options for responding to the crumbling security situation in Iraq with his national security team Thursday.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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FreeSpiritMan says... June 19, 2014 at 7:22 p.m.

This is the gift of Bush, Cheney, Franks, Rumsfeld, and Wolfawitz. Obama had nothing to do with it period as the rest of the world knows. This would be like saying Lyndon Johnson had nothing to do with the escalation of the Vietnam war. The Bush administration OWN'S this debacle for eternity.

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