BAGHDAD, IRAQ (Worthy News)– The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Greater Syria) (ISIS) attacked Iraq's largest oil refinery, located in Baiji in Northern Iraq, and seized the facility as security forces fled. Meanwhile, the White House is carefully weighing its options and is considering a "targeted, highly selective campaign of airstrikes" against the jihadists.
The Sunni insurgents began their assault on the oil facility at 4 a.m.
Officials from within the facility told Reuters News Agency that ISIS managed to "take control of the production units, administration building, and four watch towers. This is 75 percent of the refinery."
The facility is 155 miles north of Baghdad, and is accounts for a little more than a quarter of Iraq's entire refining capacity.
Over the past few days, U.S. State Department officials stated their "shared interest" and the possibility of working with Iran, despite the fact in April, counterterrorism officials within the department warned that Iran had "trained, funded, and provided guidance" to ethnic Iraqi terror groups who want to destabilize the country.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Yahoo News, "We're open to discussions if there is something constructive that can be contributed by Iran, if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and ability of the government to reform."
When pressed in an interview with Katie Couric whether military cooperation with Iran is a possibility, Kerry replied, "At this moment I think we need to go step-by-step and see what, in fact, might be a reality. But I wouldn't rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability."
However, the Pentagon says it has no plans to enter into military cooperation with the Islamic republic in Iran.
"But there is absolutely no intention and no plan to coordinate military activity between the United States and Iran … there are no plans to have consultations with Iran about military activities in Iraq," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.
A senior administration official told The New York Times that President Obama is "considering a targeted, highly selective campaign of airstrikes against Sunni militants in Iraq similar to counterterrorism operations in Yemen, rather than the widespread bombardment of an air war."