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  • Iraqi forces expected to retake Tikrit within days

    Iraqi forces expected to retake Tikrit within days

    By Ben Wedeman, CNN international correspondent

    Updated 8:37 PM ET, Mon March 9, 2015






    Story highlights
    • Iraqi forces are about a mile from the center of Tikrit
    • A major offensive for the city was launched just over a week ago




    Near Tikrit, Iraq (CNN)Iraqi forces are closing in on Tikrit and could be days away from retaking the city from ISIS fighters just over a week after launching a major offensive.

    In the past three days, forces have progressed roughly 50 miles down one road toward the city and are now about a mile from its center.
    The operation is part of a wide-scale offensive to retake Tikrit and Salahuddin province ordered by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on March 1.
    Hadi Al-Amiri, the leader of the predominantly Shiite paramilitary force Hashd Al-Shaabi, said Monday he is confident his men can crush ISIS in Iraq without the help of the U.S.-led coalition.
    "We don't need it and we won't need it," said Al-Amiri. "Anyone who puts faith in the international coalition to liberate Iraq is putting their faith on a mirage. The people of Iraq will liberate this country and put an end to ISIS."
    Al-Amiri's forces appear to be leading the fight for Tikrit, with support from the Iraqi army and Sunni tribesmen. Also assisting: Iran. Iran has provided advisers, weapons and ammunition to the Iraqi government. According to the Pentagon, there may be Iranians operating heavy artillery and rocket launchers as well.

















    U.S. keeps close eye on Iran's role in Iraq 02:42
    PLAY VIDEO


    "We thank them deeply for participating with us because Iran has more experience than anyone else on Earth in fighting terrorism," Al-Amiri said.
    The joint effort appears to be paying off as those near the front lines point to signs that ISIS may be fracturing in some areas over the strain of attempting to function as a state.
    Reports are emerging of low morale, and U.S. officials said they're seeing "anecdotal evidence of resentment and even resistance" in ISIS-controlled areas.
    In addition to the push for Tikrit, Peshmerga forces south of Kirkuk retook three villages from ISIS in the past 24 hours. About 100 ISIS fighters were killed. In Syria, Kurdish forces have expanded the area they control around the city of Kobani.
    After nearly 3,000 coalition airstrikes, the days of freely moving around in large formations, flying black flags and taking territory may be over for the group.
    "What we've seen is ISIL pushed back both around Baghdad and in that area around Tikrit, just as we've pushed ISIL back in the north in the Kurdish areas," said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, using another acronym for the radical Sunni militant group. "The amount of territory ISSL holds inside Iraq has been shrinking."
    Start here: Latest developments in the fight against ISIS
    Tikrit, best known to Westerners as the birthplace of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, fell to ISIS in June. There have been several failed attempts to recapture the city since the second half of 2014. If Iraq regains control of the city, it could mean retaking Mosul -- a city 10 times bigger -- is possible.
    The offensive involves around 30,000 fighters.
    CNN's Barbara Starr and Sarah Aarthun contributed to this report.





  • #2
    I just heard the Iraqi/Shiite attack has stalled. I hope Tikrit doesn't turn into a Stalingrad for them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by starman View Post
      I just heard the Iraqi/Shiite attack has stalled. I hope Tikrit doesn't turn into a Stalingrad for them.
      It might not have to. By besieging the city, the Iraqi forces could turn the situation into a Stalingrad for IS.

      Comment


      • #4
        The latest report looks good. The taking of Tikrit may lead to the retaking of Mosul. This may further enhance Iranian influence and prestige.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by starman View Post
          The latest report looks good. The taking of Tikrit may lead to the retaking of Mosul. This may further enhance Iranian influence and prestige.

          Yes, and I am pretty sure Mosul will be next. Personally, the prestige is nice for Iran, but in this case, everybody just wants the Daesh destroyed.
          ‚Äč

          It just goes to show that interference in the middle east ALWAYS backfires on those who interfere. Today Syria is still there, Assad is still there and now Iran's influence in Iraq has climbed to unprecedented levels.


          Then how Libya turned out. You can't pump from a well that's on fire.

          Comment


          • #6
            It now appears the Tikrit operation has been stalled since IS fighters are entrenched in palaces in the city center. They say air strikes are needed to dislodge them. Maybe the Iraqi government and Iran will launch such strikes to show, if at all possible, they can do it without the US. I suppose they could just try to starve out the surrounded enemy; dunno how long that might take.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by starman View Post
              I suppose they could just try to starve out the surrounded enemy; dunno how long that might take.
              Even if it takes a long time, it would be less costly for the Iraqi forces. A besieged force can't hold out forever, without external support. The Iraqi forces could completely surround the city and encourage IS to surrender with psychological warfare.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gonjeeshk View Post
                Even if it takes a long time, it would be less costly for the Iraqi forces. A besieged force can't hold out forever, without external support. The Iraqi forces could completely surround the city and encourage IS to surrender with psychological warfare.
                That may be the best tactic for Mosul too, where IS is much stronger.

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                • #9
                  What's the latest regarding this?

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                  • #10
                    The Shiite militias are coming back to the Tikrit front. Iraqi forces are advancing. UPDATE: They've just taken the Salaheddin provincial government headquarters in Tikrit from IS. Way to go!
                    Last edited by starman; 03-31-2015, 02:28 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Is this limited to Tikrit or are the Iraqi security forces having more successes against IS?

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                      • #12
                        Haven't heard anything else, yet. Tikrit was a test of the new Iraqi forces and is a prelude to Mosul so it must've had precedence over everything.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by starman View Post
                          Haven't heard anything else, yet. Tikrit was a test of the new Iraqi forces and is a prelude to Mosul so it must've had precedence over everything.
                          It was done a while ago.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Islamic State crisis: Iraqi forces 'retake parts of Ramadi'

                            21 April 2015

                            Iraqi security forces battling Islamic State (IS) militants have retaken key areas in the western city of Ramadi, including a hospital, officials say.

                            Militants based inside the hospital blew themselves up when they ran out of ammunition, an official said.

                            Meanwhile, the UN says more than 114,000 people have fled their homes in two weeks of fighting in Ramadi and surrounding parts of Anbar province.

                            IS and the Iraqi government both claim to be making advances in Ramadi.

                            The Iraqi forces are backed by a US-led air campaign. IS is estimated to have lost about a quarter of the territory it seized in Iraq during a lightning advance last year.

                            However, the group still controls large parts of the north and west of the country, including the second city Mosul.

                            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-32403199

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                            • #15
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