The UN Secretary General has warned that possible airstrikes against ISIS fighters in Iraq could be ineffective and backfire.

His comments come as it emerged around 300 Iraqi troops battling for control of the Bajji oil refinery are outnumbered and trapped in the facility.

The refinery is the country’s largest, 62 miles north of Samarra and any lengthy outage risks long lines at the gas pump and electrical shortages.

According to ABC News, the militants have taken control of large parts of the refinery following a four day battle and are willing to keep the government forces inside the facility until they run out of ammunition.

A U.S. military source told them: ‘There is very little the Iraqi government can do to save or liberate those guys.’

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