Iraqi DM: Security Equation in Tikrit to Change in Few Days
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi announced that the embattled city of Tikrit, northwest of Baghdad, will be fully free from the ISIL terrorists in coming few days.
“In the coming days, the equation in Tikrit will change and the process (of liberation) will be completed and the district will be cleared of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group,” Obeidi was quoted by Iraqi Alsumaria news channel as saying.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Iraqi President Fuad Masum in the capital, Baghdad, on Monday.
Iraqi forces have full control over the region and terrorism is falling into decline, the defense minister said.
The Iraqi military, backed by at least 20,000 Sunni and Shiite volunteer fighters, has been fighting to completely liberate Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
Earlier on March 10, a security source in Salahuddin province announced that the Iraqi forces had launched a major offensive to recapture the strategic city of Tikrit from the ISIL terrorists.
The battle over Tikrit is crucial for Iraqi forces in their advance towards Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, which is controlled by ISIL.
Tikrit used to serve as an important stronghold of ISIL and is situated on the main highway leading to Baghdad. The ISIL terrorists now control parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.