The Iraqi Army has launched an offensive in the Salahiddeen Governorate, attacking Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) positions from the southern part of the province. This offensive coincides with the Iraqi Army’s gains in the provincial capital of Tikrit, where the latter has conducted a series of successful attacks on ISIS (var. ISIL) fighters near the Tikrit National Hospital and the University of Tikrit. ISIS’ presence in the province has caused many Iraqi politicians apprehension due to Salahiddeen’s proximity to Baghdad.
Earlier today, a large Iraqi Army convoy was reportedly heading towards the city of Tikrit in order to assist the entrenched soldiers combatting ISIS fighters. Violent clashes were reported in southern Tikrit, where the Iraqi Army killed scores of ISIS militants and destroyed 6 vehicles loaded with doskhas. Iraqi tribesmen were reported to have assisted in the operations, providing the Iraqi Army relief near the village of Baji.
According to a military source, 4 villages near the city of Tikrit were captured by the Iraqi Army over the last 3 days. The villages of Hatamiyya, Qaraghoul, Mahzoum, and Al-Bouhaswa in the Salahiddeen Governorate were all declared ISIS-free by the Iraqi Army and local tribesmen participating in the anti-ISIS operations. Anti-ISIS Coalition airstrikes have become more prevalent in the Salahiddeen Governorate, with over 40 air raids recorded in the last 2 days by local sources.