Iraq reportedly launched a military operation to retake Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit from Islamic State forces, Iraqi TV reported Monday. Tikrit, located about 80 miles north of Baghdad, was seized by ISIS militants last summer along with Mosul and other Sunni areas. Allied Shiite and Sunni fighters reportedly launched artillery and airstrikes from Iraqi fighter jets as a part of the large-scale offensive. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi promised to pardon Sunni tribal fighters who deserted ISIS on Sunday ahead of the attacks.
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