Iraq Launches Plan to Take Back Tikrit

    A Shi'ite volunteer wearing a mask, who has joined the Iraqi army to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), looks on during a parade on a street in Kanaan, Diyala province, June 26, 2014. Iraqi forces launched an airborne assault on rebel-held Tikrit on Thursday with commandos flown into a stadium in helicopters, at least one of which crashed after taking fire from insurgents who have seized northern cities. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3VYHV


    Iraq mounted a fresh assault against Sunni militants in the captured city of Tikrit on Saturday, where a human rights group says militants executed at least 160 people two weeks ago. The mission included an airlift of forces by helicopter and gunships carrying out airstrikes on a university campus. According to Iraqi state television, the mission succeeded in clearing the city of militants, though a security official told the Associated Press on Saturday morning that the operation is ongoing and a tribal leader from Tikrit said that Iraqi forces only controlled the university and an airfield, but that most of the town remains in the hands of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

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