Iraq Army Advancing to City Center in 3rd Day of Tikrit Offensive

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Thursday, 05 March 2015


The army troops, in the first phase of Iraq's major offensive to liberate Tiktrit, have made major advances in their fight against the ISIL in strategic province of Salahuddin, and have so far freed more than 97 districts and sub-districts from the control of the terrorist group, said Iraq's Ministry of Defense in a statement on Wednesday.

Iraqi security forces are poised to make further advances Wednesday, the third day of an offensive aimed at recapturing the city of Tikrit from ISIS extremists, who have held it since last summer, Iraqi officials said.
Police officials told the broadcaster that troops moving towards Tikrit across largely desert terrain from the east were expected to capture the Ajil oil field.
"Unlike previous offensives by Iraqi security forces, the Tikrit operation has not received any air support from a US-led coalition that is carrying out airstrikes against the ISIS."
About 30,000 troops, volunteers and tribal fighters are taking part in the offensive, officials said.
Tikrit lies 180 kilometres north of Baghdad in the heartland of the Sunni Arab minority, from which ISIS militants draw their support. Saddam was a native of the nearby village of al-Awja.
ISIS captured Tikrit a day after they took Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, in a lightning offensive in June.
The group subsequently published photographs and video footage that it said showed the execution of 1,200 Shiite army recruits who had sought to flee nearby Camp Speicher.
Sunni tribal leaders have also expressed support for the government offensive, official says thousands of Sunni tribesmen are taking part in the operation are accurate, DPA reports.
Unlike previous offensives by Iraqi security forces, the Tikrit operation has not received any air support from a US-led coalition that is carrying out airstrikes against the ISIS.

According to Head of Salahuddin's Security Committee Khalid Khazraji on Wednesday, the Iraqi troops continued to make more gains in their fight against the ISIL terrorists in the nearby areas of Tikrit, inflicting hefty losses on the Takfiri group by launching attacks from three different directions, FNA reports.
He said that the Iraqi soldiers in cooperation with the popular forces had made major advances in their confrontation with the terrorist group, and added, “Iraqi security forces, local police, al-Hashd al-Sha’bi and tribal fighters managed to besiege the city from three sides."

It is reported tha army troops are moving towards the city center and plan to flush out the remnants of the terrorists from the recently-liberated areas in Tikrit.
Thousands of government troops, Shiite and Sunni popular forces have started a major offensive in the Iraqi city of Samarra to oust the ISIL terrorists from the strategic province of Salahuddin, which includes the ancient city of Tikrit.

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