Iraqi forces retake strategic town of al-Alam near Tikrit
Iran Press TV
Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:24AM
Iraqi security forces alongside Sunni and Shia fighters have driven Takfiri ISIL terrorists out of the town of al-Alam in northern Tikrit.
Reports say the residents of al-Alam, who had been forced to flee due to the violence by the ISIL extremist militants, are now returning to the town in northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces are reported to have entered the strategic city of Tikrit, which is under ISIL control, from the south.
Ten days ago, Iraqi forces began a massive anti-ISIL military campaign, with more than 20,000 army troops backed by thousands of Shia and Sunni fighters, gradually advancing toward Tikrit from multiple directions.
Reports say some 2,500 to 3,000 ISIL Takfiris are still holed up in the city, most of them being foreign mercenaries from Africa.
Retaking Tikrit, sitting on the road to Mosul, would give added strategic power and momentum to the Iraqi forces to launch the next stage of their massive campaign to recapture the main city of Mosul, the largest city in the north of Iraq and also the largest city occupied by the ISIL.
Tikrit and Mosul were both overrun by the ISIL terrorists last summer.
Elsewhere in Kirkuk, an ISIL leader has been killed in clashes with Iraqi security forces. The terrorist leader, identified as Abu Hager, who is said to be a key aide to ISIL leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died during clashes near the village of Ismail in Mulla Abdullah area.
The ISIL terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.
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