- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2015

A senior U.S. official told CNN on Thursday that Iraq’s Baiji oil refinery is now 80 percent under the control of the Islamic State group.

The official told the network that Iraqi forces are “all but cut off,” and that airstrikes inside its gates would destroy important infrastructure.

“[Iraqi security forces] will have to find a way to re-take it,” the official told CNN.

The Baiji oil refinery is on a major supply route on the way to Mosul.

Earlier in the week, Arabic news outlets reported that a former five-star hotel, The Ninawa, also reopened in Mosul for use by Islamic State commanders.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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