Final Day for ISIS in Tikrit; Heavy Street Battle + Video and Pics

Thu Mar 12, 2015 14:10:12

Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi visited the troops Thursday and met with senior military commanders of the Tikrit operation.he said “today we finish ISIS in Tikrit”.

Rockets and mortars echoed across Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit on Thursday as Iraqi security forces clashed with ISIS militants a day after sweeping into the Sunni city north of Baghdad.Iraqi army are in the center of Tikrit and heavy street battle are raging.

Recapturing Tikrit is seen as a key step toward rolling back the extremist group, which seize much of northern and western Iraq last summer and controls around a third of Iraq and Syria.

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Final Day for ISIS in Tikrit; Heavy Street Battle

Iraqi forces enter ISIS-held Tikrit after 10-day push. Iraqi forces have entered Tikrit, dodging bombs and sniper fire in search of their biggest victory yet against embattled terrorists who tried to light new fires elsewhere in Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi forces pressed into one of the ISIS’s most important strongholds Thursday, further breaking the militants’ hold on the city of Tikrit in what is shaping up to be a decisive battle for pro-government forces­ in their fight to eradicate the terrorists.

The ISIS group has suffered stinging defeats in the heart of its self-proclaimed "caliphate" recently, but its ultraviolent ideology has inspired attacks and recruits globally.

Iraqi allied forces punched into parts of Tikrit , marking a new phase in a 10-day drive to wrest the city back from ISIS.

A combination of army, police and volunteer forces moved into northern and southern Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi president Saddam and a main ISIS stronghold.

A major general told AFP on condition of anonymity that "we are engaging in a very delicate battle because we are not facing fighters on the ground, we are facing booby-trapped terrain and sniper fire. Our movement is slow."

An army colonel said forces coming from another direction had also retaken the main hospital on the city's southern edge and ISIS injured terrorist cannot be send to hospital.

The town of al-Alam, a flashpoint north of Tikrit along the Tigris river, was fully under the control of pro-government fighters and local anti-ISIS Sunni tribesmen, an AFP reporter there said.

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Final Day for ISIS in Tikrit; Heavy Street Battle

ISIS militants have blown up a strategic highway bridge north of Tikrit, as security forces fight their way into the city, Iraqi police said Thursday.

The move suggests that the terrorists, are taking a defensive position.

It comes two days after they blew up the only bridge in the Tikrit area to impede a major offensive that has seen security forces and allied Shiite militias recapture parts of the city.

Tikrit lies about halfway between the capital Baghdad and the country's second city, Mosul, held by ISIS.

Its capture, which now appears likely to be only a matter of time, will be a key step toward a future attempt to regain Mosul and other northern Iraqi territory seized by the jihadists in a lightning offensive last summer.

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