The Iraqi army is believed to have failed to attack ISIS fighters who control the city of Tikrit, capital of Salahuddin province. America’s CNN quoted an Iraqi security sources yesterday as saying that the Iraqi army stopped ten kilometres south of Tikrit after ISIS militants planted mines around the city.
However, there were conflicting reports about the Iraqi army attack. Media sources close to the Iraqi government said the army took control of Tikrit and the governorate building and forced ISIS elements from the city towards Kirkuk. Media close to the militants, though, said that ISIS repelled the army, causing heavy losses in lives and equipment and forcing the attackers to withdraw to Samarra.
Iraqi army operations chief General Sabah Al-Fatlawi said prior to the attack that “elite counter-terrorism security forces equipped with armoured tanks and infantry and backed by the air force moved from Samarra towards Tikrit.”
According to Agence France Presse, a senior Iraqi army official said that the air force carried out a “heavy bombardment against insurgents in the city of Tikrit” to protect the forces in control of Tikrit University. The official added that progress in the city of Tikrit guarantees control of the city of Mosul as well as land towards Diyala province.