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.