Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007
A force of 30,000 Sunni and Shi’ite fighters, both soldiers and militia, launched a large-scale offensive Monday to push the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria out of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown.
Eighty miles northwest of Baghdad, Tikrit could serve as a model for the coming—and much bigger—battle to retake Mosul. ISIS seized Iraq’s second-largest city, as well as Tikrit, last summer in a humiliating defeat for the U.S.-trained Iraqi forces.
General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the local Iraqi military commander, told Iraqi state television that the assault was “going on as planned,” primarily from the east. Iraqi warplanes were attacking targets in and around Tikrit, Iraqi TV added. There was no immediate indication that U.S. or other allied warplanes were involved. Al-Saddi said the goal of the offensive is to turn Tikrit “into a grave for all terrorist groups.”
Pentagon officials said the Iraqi army’s success in retaking Tikrit is…
View original post 481 more words