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Tikrit/ Mosul update..Iraqi army backed by Sunni, Shia fighters firm to beat ISIL

Saturday, March 14, 2015 18:50
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(Before It's News)

▶ Iraqi army & volunteer forces recapture nearly 70% of Tikrit – YouTube

Iraqi forces are still engaging the ISIL terrorists in a battle to recapture the strategic city of Tikrit.
According to security sources, the army and volunteer forces have so far retaken about seventy percent of the city and are pushing to regain the remaining areas. They’ve surrounded many terrorist hideouts in the city center but the large number of bombs planted by the ISIL members is hampering the operation. A top leader of the Badr Organization and the spokesman for the volunteer Popular Mobilization units, has said that Tikrit will be liberated within three days. Meanwhile, a senior commander of the Iraqi volunteer forces Hadi al-Ameri has praised Iran’s unconditional support for Baghdad in its ongoing fight against the ISIL terrorists.

Iraqi army backed by Sunni, Shia fighters firm to beat ISIL

Iraqi forces continue their mop-up operations in Salaheddin province to flush ISIL outs the Iraqi military is conducting those operations in cooperation with Shia volunteer committees, and Sunni tribes.

Iraqi officials say a major part of the success of these operations is due to the cooperation between the Iraqi army, Shia volunteers and the Sunni tribesmen. They say the tribes give intelligence information to the army which helps it in targeting ISIL hideouts. They also provide detailed information to the troops about the geographic nature of the province, making it easier for them to advance.

Kurdish Peshmerga Heavy Fighting During Push Towards Mosul

SALAHUDDIN PROVINCE, Iraq — Islamic State fighters killed the prominent leader of a Shiite militia in the battle of Tikrit on Saturday, but Iraqi officers said the dwindling band of extremists were in “total collapse.”

Iraqi government leaders predicted ISIL fighters in the city will be defeated in two or three days.

Commander Abou Hasaneen Al Mosawi of the Imam Ali Brigade died during intense fighting in the Qadisiya neighborhood in northern Tikrit, said Ali Al Sarai, a spokesman for the Popular Mobilization, the umbrella group for the Iranian-backed Shiite militias who have joined the Iraqi army’s campaign against the Islamic State.

Al Mosawi died as around 20,000 militia members and 3,000 professional Iraqi troops laid siege to Tikrit and slowly advanced from the north and south on around 70 Islamic State militants holed up in the city center, said another militia spokesman Karim al-Nouri. The militants, who have controlled Tikrit since last summer, have impeded the offensive by booby-trapping the city.

“The Islamic State has made a very complicated net of bombs in the streets,” said Al Sarai. “We have an engineering unit working very hard to clear those roads.”

As the engineers clear the explosives, the militias and government troops have been bombarding Islamic State positions and engaging in small-scale firefights.

“The military leaders are reassessing the situation and trying to figure out how much the Islamic State can resist the complete siege imposed on them,” said Esmael Halup Said, deputy governor of Saladin Province, where Tikrit is located.

The situation is becoming increasingly desperate for the Islamic State, said Iraqi army Maj. Mohammed Ali. The Islamist militants blew up all the mobile phone towers in the city in recent days as the noose tightened around their position.

“They realized that residents were giving us information about their movements,” he said. “We still can listen to their internal communications, and we know how weak they are at this moment. They are in total collapse.”


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