Iraqi and Syrian towns and cities seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Map created by The Long War Journal. Click to view larger map.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham continues its lightning advance southward after seizing control of Mosul, the country’s second largest city, and the province of Ninewa and other areas of Salahaddin and Kirkuk provinces yesterday. ISIS has now captured the Salahaddin cities of Bayji, which has Iraq’s largest oil refinery, and Tikrit, the provincial capital.

ISIS units traveling in a convoy of more than 60 vehicles advanced into Bayji last night, and torched several government buildings, court houses, and police headquarters, according to ITAR-TASS and Reuters. ISIS fighters are said to have surrounded the refinery and sent a delegation to security forces who are holding out in the complex.

According to Reuters, the 250 security personnel agreed to withdraw from the refinery complex, the largest in Iraq. […]