BAGHDAD – A spokesman for Iraqi counterterrorism forces says government airstrikes have targeted a group of Sunni militants trying to overrun the country's largest oil refinery, and claims as many as 30 insurgents were killed.
Sabah al-Nuaman says a government plane targeted around eight vehicles attacking military forces defending the Beiji oil refinery north of Baghdad early Friday. Fighters from the Islamic State extremist group have been trying to capture the Beiji facility from some two weeks.
Al-Nuaman also says a helicopter gunship hit a house in the town of Qaim near the Syrian border where a gathering of the jihadi group's local leaders was taking place. He says there were several casualties, but did not have a concrete figure.
An official in the Anbar province operational command confirmed the Qaim airstrike.