Gen. Soleimani Leading Tikrit and Samarra Operation + Photo

Mon Mar 2, 2015 20:57:10

Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces launched a large-scale military operation Monday to recapture Saddam hometown from the ISIS extremist group, a major step in a campaign to reclaim territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants.

Iraqi forces battling near Tikrit also apparently have the help of Iranian Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, who arrived there two days ago, the Iranian Fars news agency reported.

Gen Soleimani leading Tikrit and Samarra Operation

The powerful general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq's fight against the Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside dozens of advisers from his country's Revolutionary Guard to direct Shiite militiamen and government forces in the smallest details of some battles, Yahoo news reports.

Gen Soleimani leading Tikrit and Samarra Operation

Fars also reported drones were flying over Tikrit.

In the battle field Iraqi troops backed by popular forces continue marching in Salahuddin province on Monday and opened their path to the strategic city of Qaddesiya after breaking ISIL's fortified defensive positions.

Gen Soleimani leading Tikrit and Samarra Operation

The Iraqi army entered the Qaddesiya city in the Northern parts of Tikrit to tighten the siege of the ISIL forces in Salahuddin province.

Gen Soleimani leading Tikrit and Samarra Operation

Reports coming out of Tikrit city on Monday indicated that the Iraqi troops had driven out ISIL terrorists from Tikrit.

They used heavy artillery, mortars, tanks and short-range missiles during intensified clashes over the town of Al- Dour which is still under the control of the ISIL terrorists.

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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