Iraqi Security Forces Recapture 2 Towns From Islamic State

A senior Iraqi military official with the Salahuddin Command Center says Iraqi security forces have gained full control over a contested area south of the country's largest oil refinery. General Ayad al-Lahabi tells The Associated Press that the military, backed by divisions of the Popular Mobilization Forces and coalition airstrikes, gained control Friday of the towns of al-Malha and al-Mazraah, located 3 kilometers south of the Beiji oil refinery, killing at least 160 militants with the Islamic State group. Iraqi security forces, also backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces and U.S. airstrikes, recaptured the provincial capital of Tikrit on April 1.