Iraqi forces along with Shiite militias have started consolidating their position in Tikrit on Wednesday. Most of the city was within their control, and they were on the route to a strategically significant victory after the offensive started nine days ago; they claimed.
Numerous videos have been uploaded on social media including Iraqi state television by pro-government forces. One could see national flags of Iraq and those of militias being hoisted at different places in Tikrit which has been a hub of the Sunni triangle and the place of birth of the disgraced Saddam Hussein. In Tikrit, ISIS had butchered over 1000 Shiite soldiers of Iraq last year. Several months ago, ISIS, had routed the Iraqi government forces in Tikrit, and the present offensive handed the militants the first taste of defeat by an all out war launched by pro-government forces. Militants, on the other hand, to show that they had not been cowed down, mounted fiercest of assaults in recent months on the city of Ramadi, to the west of Baghdad. They exploded 21 car bombs at different places in that city leaving five people dead and scores wounded, as per the security officials. However, the adviser to the provincial governor revealed that militants missed their apparent targets and most of the bombs exploded before reaching their intended targets due to the effective fortification of the city by the Iraqi forces and the intelligence network. He wanted to give the impression that militants were on the wane, ineffective, and losing grounds.
Now, that Tikrit operation was almost over, the government has to prioritize next moves.