Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Iraqi forces launch effort to retake Tikrit from ISIS

IRBIL, Iraq — The Iraqi army launched a fresh offensive Tuesday to recapture the central city of Tikrit, seeking to build on the success of U.S.-backed government forces in seizing Mosul Dam, their first significant defeat of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria this year.

Initial reports suggested, however, that the offensive had stalled in the face of stiff resistance from the militant fighters, who had swept into the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein in June with significant support from its residents, who are overwhelmingly Sunni.

American airstrikes had a decisive role in routing the extremist fighters from Mosul Dam, which was fully under government control Tuesday. The recapture of the dam in northern Iraq came after a two-day battle waged on the ground by Iraqi special-operations forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters, backed by American bombers, drones and fighter jets.

The U.S. intervention has been confined to areas bordering the semiautonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan that were overrun by ISIS in the first week of August, prompting President Barack Obama to authorize airstrikes to halt the militant advance.

But the intervention appeared to have energized Iraqi forces farther south of the vast stretch of territory across Iraq and Syria conquered by ISIS over the past year. Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias pushed toward Tikrit in a three-pronged offensive starting after dawn Tuesday, Iraqi officials said.

Fighting continued late into the night Tuesday, according to a resident contacted by telephone who reported explosions and gunfire.

Iraqi forces launch effort to retake Tikrit from ISIS 08/19/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 12:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite no executions, Florida's death row keeps shrinking

    Blogs

    The last person executed in Florida was Oscar Ray Bolin on Jan. 7, 2016, making him the 92nd person to be executed since Florida resumed capital punishment in 1979. The last condemned inmate to join death row , convicted double-murderer Craig Wall of Pinellas County, arrived on June 6, 2016.

    The execution chamber at Florida State Prison
  2. Adele may never tour again: read her emotional note

    Blogs

    Adele is wrapping up a monster world tour, and it sounds like it took a lot out of her. 

    Adele posted this handwritten note on Instagram.
  3. Trump goes off on 'Psycho Joe' and 'Crazy Mika'

    Blogs

    President Trump this morning lashed out at the Morning Joe crew and worked in a Florida reference, a remarkable personal attack from the commander-in-chief.

  4. National economy off to a luckluster start this year

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.

    he U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.
[Associated Press file photo]
  5. Accused cardinal denies Australia sex abuse allegations, takes leave of absence

    World

    ROME — One of the most senior Vatican officials to be charged with sexual offenses denied on Thursday the allegations levied against him by Australian police, saying he would take a leave of absence as one of Pope Francis' chief advisers to defend himself.

    Cardinal George Pell meets the media at the Vatican on Thursday. The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney says Pell will return to Australia to fight sexual assault charges as soon as possible. [Associated Press]