Iraq recaptures northern village hours after Daesh blitz
Iraqi military and allied volunteer fighters have recaptured a northern village from Daesh militants, hours after it was blitzed by the Takfiri group.
Military officials said the allied forces launched a major counter-attack on Thursday to recapture Tal Kusaiba, a predominately Sunni village, some 35 km (20 miles) east of Tikrit.
The town had been occupied earlier in the day by Daesh militants.
Police said a chief constable of Tal Kusaiba and his guard along with nine volunteer fighters were killed during the morning blitz by Daesh.
Laith Hameed, a senior official in the nearby town of al-Alam, said the Iraqi army, supported by the country’s air force as well as counter-terrorism forces and Badr volunteer fighters managed to purge the militants from the town’s police station and government buildings.
Tal Kusaiba is located in the Salahuddin Province, north of Baghdad, where the military and pro-government forces have been battling militants for more than a year. The Iraqi army and allies seized control of the provincial capital of Tikrit in late March last year before pushing back Daesh from the major refinery town of Baiji in October.
Iraqis are now fighting Daesh in western Iraq where the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, was declared liberated from the occupation of the Takfiri group last December.
The major objective for the allied Iraqi forces, however, is to seize control of the northern city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, which borders Salahuddin.
Daesh captured the city in the summer of 2014 and from there began to seize other areas in north and west of Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi vowed last month that the year 2016 would be the year for the eventual elimination of Daesh from the Iraqi soil.