By Video: Latest Development in Tikrit

Thu Mar 12, 2015 22:13:01

Thousands of Iraqi troops and militiamen laid siege to militant fighters holed up in Tikrit on Thursday, wary of rushing into streets littered with bombs and infested with snipers.

After making major gains in and around the city on Wednesday, commanders were confident that Baghdad’s biggest victory yet against the ISIL group was only a matter of time.

“Now we are moving to the second phase of our plan,” defence minister Khaled Al Obeidi said in Salaheddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital.

“We are very keen for our losses to be as low as possible. Time is on our side, we have the initiative,” he said on the 11th day of the offensive.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tells fighters to protect civilian life and property in Tikrit as forces there struggle to advance against ISIS militants.

The Local Security Committee in Salahuddin emphasized that Tikrit has completely been controlled and ISIS expelled from 90 present of this governorate.

government forces and allies took back control of 75 percent of Tikrit Thursday, leaving the remainder of the area, which includes Saddams former palace, in the hands of the ISIS, DPA reports.


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