Iraq seizes districts from IS in Tikrit advance
3 March 2015, Nirapad News: Iraqi government forces said they have retaken some districts around Tikrit in their fight to recapture the city from Islamic State (IS).
A force of about 30,000 troops and militia are said to be attacking on different fronts, backed by air strikes from Iraqi jets. A commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is taking part in the operation, a Shia militia commander told the press.
Tikrit, north of the capital Baghdad, fell to IS militants last June. Security sources told the press that pro-government troops had seized control of the two districts of al-Tin, near Tikrit university north-east of the city, and the district of al-Abeid, in the west.
Earlier, fighting was also reported in al-Dour, south-east of Tikrit, as well as in al-Alam, north of the city, and nearby Qadisiya. There were few details of the operation but army and medical sources were quoted as saying that five soldiers and 11 militia fighters had been killed.
The Pentagon said that the US was not providing any air power in support of the operation. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the start of the operation late on Sunday, as tens of thousands of troops and militia massed in the central town of Samarra.