Iraqi security forces were backed by Shia militia group, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), and Iraqi ground attack fighter jets pushed toward Tikrit in a three-pronged offensive after dawn Tuesday. This is the second counter offensive by the Iraqi military and the Iranian-backed AAH to retake Tikrit. In mid-July, their offensive failed and their forces had to retreat from the area.
Tikrit was overrun by the Islamic State in early June.
UPDATE: By midday Tuesday local time, the Iraqi army units and Shia militias were bogged down at least 6 miles from the entrance to the city and reports from the area indicate that they are apparently withdrawing south toward Samara. The operation to recapture Tikrit was the second major counter offensive by the Iraqi army since the current conflict began in June; both times to retake the same city, and now it appears that both times the army and its Shia militia allies have been beaten back by the Islamic State fighters.
File photo: Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service troops at a checkpoint near Mosul Dam. (AFP)