Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown from the Islamic State extremist group, state TV said, a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants.
The city of Tikrit, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, fell into the hands of the Islamic State group last summer along with the country’s second-largest city of Mosul and other areas in the country’s Sunni heartland after the collapse of national security forces. Tikrit is one of the largest cities held by the Islamic State group and sits on the road to Mosul.
Security forces have so far been unable to retake Tikrit, but momentum has begun to shift after soldiers, backed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition, recently took back the nearby refinery town of Beiji. Any operation to take Mosul likely would require Iraq to seize Tikrit first because of its strategic location for military enforcements.
Al-Iraqiya television said that the forces were attacking Tikrit from different directions, backed by artillery and airstrikes by Iraqi fighter jets. It said the militants were dislodged from some areas outside the city, but gave no details.
— Sakir Khader (@sakirkhader) March 2, 2015
Iraq is bitterly divided between minority Sunnis, who were an important base of support for Saddam, and the Shiite majority. The cooperation between Shiite and Sunni fighters in Monday’s operation was an important development in the battle against the Islamic State group, though the presence of Shiite forces in the Sunni area risks prompting a backlash in the future.
Read more: mashable.com
- One Student SUSPENDED for Not Walking Out During Anti-Gun Protest
- Young Woman Attacked and Stabbed — Turns the Table on Her Attacker and Gets His Knife
- REPORT: Facebook’s Algorithm Change Boosting Liberals, Silencing Conservatives
- WINNING! California FORCED to Return 500+ Guns to Dealer After Seizing Them For…
- WATCH: Tennessee Students Start Fighting, Tear Down American Flag During Anti-Gun ‘Walkout’ Protest
- Nikolas Cruz ‘Smiling and Laughing’ in Life Behind Bars
- California Appoints Illegal Alien to Office
- Conservative Activists Detained by Airport Police in UK — Preventing Them from Inciting “Hatred”
- REPORT: US was Running Guns Through Benghazi to Syria and Hillary Lied About it Under Oath
- Student David Hogg Demands People ‘Work Together’, But Calls the NRA ‘Child Murderers’
- Second Amendment Group Has Surge of Membership at 1200% for 18-20 Year-Olds
- Haitian Official Who Exposed the Clinton Foundation is Found With Gun-Shot to Head
- Black Panther Trailer, ‘World is Changing… Soon There will be the Conquered and the Conquerors’
- DETAINED BUT READY TO MINGLE: Osama bin Laden’s Associate Creates Dating Profile from Gitmo
- Savage: Dude Explains Feminism in 2017, ‘You’re a Man. Everything a Man Does is…’ [Video]
- TERRORISM LOSES AGAIN: Man who had the Intentions of Beheading a Police Officer was Fatally Shot
- DEAR AMERICA: Should Donald Trump ACCEPT This Executive Order on the Second Amendment?
- Nurse Caught on Camera Laughing as WWII Vet Dies Gasping for Breath