Share:

 

 

 

baiji refineryA satellite photo handed out by the U.S. Geological Survey Thursday shows a plume of smoke billowing from a large oil refinery in Baiji, Iraq that provides much of the region’s fuel for electricity and transportation. The image was taken Wednesday.

The Baiji plant, which lies about 130 miles north of Baghdad, was overrun by insurgents and allies of the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Tuesday as part of their lightning offensive through the Sunni heartland toward the capital. The plant shut down as a result of the fighting, which prevented workers from doing their jobs.

Exactly who’s in control of the sprawling complex after two days of intense fighting remains unclear. An Iraqi military spokesman claimed Thursday that government troops had pushed the militants to retreat and were in control, but workers who escaped the siege said militants were still patrolling part of the grounds. Footage aired on Al-Arabiya appeared to show ISIS’ signature black flags flying above the refinery, signaling it could still be in charge.

BAIJI, IRAQ - JUNE 18: In this handout photo provided by the USGS, A satellite view shows smoke billowing from the Baiji North refinery complex on June 18, 2014 in Baiji, about 130 miles north of Baghdad. An attack on the refinery started late on Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants move closer to Baghdad after taking control over several northern Iraqi cities. (Photo by USGS/NASA via Getty Images)
BAIJI, IRAQ – JUNE 18: In this handout photo provided by the USGS, A satellite view shows smoke billowing from the Baiji North refinery complex on June 18, 2014 in Baiji, about 130 miles north of Baghdad. An attack on the refinery started late on Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants move closer to Baghdad after taking control over several northern Iraqi cities. (Photo by USGS/NASA via Getty Images)

TIME

Share:
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No connected account.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to connect an account.