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Iraqi Forces Launch Offensive to Take Back Tikrit

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:03:00 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(TIKRIT, Iraq) -- After failing once before, Iraqi forces appear determined to retake the northern city of Tikrit from Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

By the end of Tuesday, the national army, along with local Shiite militias, had driven ISIS fighters out of towns near Tikrit, which is located less than 100 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Known primary as the birthplace of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, the Sunni-dominated city fell into ISIS hands in June as the group overwhelmed local forces with the ferocity of its attacks.

The new offensive to retake Tikrit involves Iraqi ground forces and helicopters coming at ISIS targets from the south and west. By all accounts, no U.S. air power is being used as it was in the retaking of the Mosul Dam earlier this week.

Should Iraqi forces regain control of Tikrit from ISIS, it would be an important victory for the new leaders in Baghdad, who are in the process of forming a new government.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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