Iraqi forces re-captured a nearby town in their efforts to free Tikrit, the hometown of the former president Saddam Hussain, from the control of the Islamic State militants who are reported on Friday to have destroyed a historical site near the northern city of Mosul.
Iraqi troops added and abated by Sunni and Shiite militia, and under cover the Iraqi aircrafts, entered a town called Dour, south of Tikrit, the provincial capital, from all four directions. The entry preceded heavy bombardment in the area by the Iraqi forces, as per a source refused to be named. Most of the foreign fighters in the area had already fled the scene, and only some local extremist outfits resisted the Iraqi forces. Forces are still dealing firmly with some pockets of resistance. The forces have been advancing cautiously in the town dealing with explosives, roadside bombs, and booby traps deployed in building vacated by the fleeing militants.
As per an interview of Major General Imad al-Zeheiri to Xinhua, security forces along with allied militia start their next stage of offensive on Saturday aimed at entering the urban areas after surrounding the militants from all sides near the city of Tikrit, and cutting off militants’ supply line. The target is to re-capture the city of Tikrit. With this aim in view, the army units have been consistently shelling the areas near Tikrit with rockets, mortars, and heavy artillery. According to security sources, the Iraqi forces started their offensives last Sunday dawn through five sides including two from kesheifa and Sur Shnas, two others from Udheim and Tuz Khurmato, and one from the Speicher airbase.
The Iraqi forces are inching forward towards their destination.