Recently, the Iraqi troops and militiamen have paused the offensive on Tikrit, which has the purpose of retaking the northern Iraqi town. At that moment, they said that they were in need of more professionally trained soldiers. In addition, they required aircraft support, given the fact that the central parts of Tikrit, which was still under the Islamic State`s control, had a lot of buildings that were stuffed with explosives and also there were bomb traps on the streets of town.
The Iraqi troops and militiamen have received the aid that they had required, so now they announce the fact that they are ready to launch the last phase of retaking Saddam Hussein`s hometown. This was made public by an Iraqi official on Thursday. The statement followed a series of air strikes led by the United States against the insurgents who fight under the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The fighting intensifies in Tikrit, as the Iraqi troops and militiamen advance toward the central parts of Tikrit, which are still controlled by the Islamic State. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, who is an Iraqi Lieutenant General, affirmed that central Tikrit is the battleground where the fiercest part of the battle is fought.
Tikrit was taken by the Islamic State in the summer of 2014, a period when fighters of ISIL were seizing a large area in the northern part of Iraq. Tikrit is a Sunni town and the Islamic State is of Sunni tradition as well, so the city was of importance for them, especially considering that they were planning on declaring a caliphate, that was to be led (and is led in the present, as well) by the controversial figure of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Retaking Tikrit from the hands of the Islamic State is a key moment for the Iraqi army and for the militiamen. The battle for Tikrit is a step in a military campaign that aims at pushing the Islamic State out of Iraq and also retaking the city of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, after the capital Baghdad.
Haider al-Abadi, who is the Prime Minister of Iraq, announced on Wednesday that the Iraqi troops have launched the last wave of the Tikrit offensive. He added that nobody but the Iraqis have the right to claim victory against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
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