Iraq

Iraqi Army Makes Huge Strides in Tikrit; 9 Villages Captured Around the Country

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The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) has successfully thwarted the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) from numerous villages around the country; this news comes three days after the ISF captured the strategic town of Jurf Al-Shukhar. The ISF captured the following villages earlier this week: Albu Tuma, Al-Hajjaj (near Tikrit), Mahzam, Hamra, Al-Shahama, Al-Saqour, Al-Farisiya, Al-Hujayr and Al-Shahban. The latter 3 villages were captured by the ISF and the local militias – the Kata’eb and Al-‘Abbas Brigades.

In Tikrit, the ISF’s offensive has intensified as the latter has gained substantial ground in the west, while killing scores of ISIS militants in the process. Yesterday, the ISF was able to secure the Tikrit-Baiji Road, cutting off one of ISIS’ primary supply routes to their embattled fighters inside the city. The ISF followed this attack with a barrage of mortar shells on ISIS positions in the city of Baiji. Also in the Salahiddeen Province, the ISF captured Tal Al-Faransi (French Hill) after intense clashes with ISIS militants on this imperative hill.

A U.S. airstrike near east Fallujah killed 6 ISIS fighters, including 3 field commanders that were present. The airstrikes were targeting ISIS positions in the village of Karma located east of the ISIS-controlled city of Fallujah. The ISIS field commanders killed:

1. Raad Al-Lahibi 2. Ahmad Al-Halbusi and 3. Mahmoud Al-Khalayfawi

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