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Operation Iraqi Freedom - April 14
Day Twenty-Six

On the 26th day of combat operations, a US Marine Corps task force captured Tikrit, bringing the last major bastion of the Hussein regime under Coalition control. Tikrit and the nearby village of Auja (Saddam Hussein's home village) were heavily fortified and defended by an estimated 2500 regular and paramilitary fighters. However, air and ground attacks reduced the Iraqi positions, and the Iraqi troops were reportedly leaving their positions, weapons, and uniforms to flee the Coalition advance. 4 Iraqi tanks were confirmed destroyed in the skirmishes around Tikrit.

A CENTCOM spokesman reported that no oil wells remained on fire in Iraq. Most, if not all, petroleum facilities are now under coalition control.

In Baghdad and other major cities in central and southern Iraq, Coalition forces are beginning efforts to reconstitute utility and police service. A priority of civil engineering forces is to restore electricity in major cities throughout Iraq. In addition to joint patrols with Iraqi citizens to curb looting and street violence, US, British, and Australian special forces continue to search for leaders from the Hussein regime and for weapons of mass destruction.

The airhead at Bashur airfield in northern Iraq has now received an estimated 3200 troops and 12 million pounds of supplies and equipment.

CENTCOM also announced that it was investigating the possibility that the F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter lost on April 2 was downed by a US Patriot SAM.

Initial elements of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) have crossed the Iraq/Kuwait border to begin stability and support operations in Iraq.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:25:34 Zulu