BAGHDAD – The Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammed Salem Ghaban Monday, “stop” process, which today entered its third week to restore the city of Tikrit, the organization of the Islamic state, so as to reduce losses of Iraqi forces in the face of roadside bombs planted by jihadists.
It was about 30 000 component of the Iraqi army and police, backed by armed Shiite factions and sons of some Sunni tribes, began a massive operation in the second of March / March to restore Tikrit and its environs.
While troops advanced successively in areas south of Tikrit (110 km north of Baghdad) and the north, the progress in the city seemed harder.
Field commanders said in recent days that he is slow and cautious as a result of sniping and the large number of improvised explosive devices planted.
Ghabban said during his visit to the leadership of Samarra operations headquarters south of Tikrit, “was achieved more than 90 percent of the targets (in the process) according to the plans, according to the charts, and in accordance with the timings that are set.”
“Today, what is left is a very small part of a Tikrit city center. We stopped in order, first, to reduce losses in the ranks of the developed our heroine for the liberation of the city of Tikrit (Salahuddin) province,” in addition to the protection of infrastructure, “considering that The enemy booby-trapped buildings and existing circuits, and also to provide an opportunity for those who remain of our people in Tikrit (…) to get out. “
The minister, who oversees the police did not identify, and belongs to the “Badr Organization,” which is the military wing of the main factions fighting alongside government forces, the means that will allow the resumption of military operations.
It was also unclear what is the position of the other military commanders overseeing the operation, which is divided between the army and the police and the armed factions.
Iraqi forces last week and was able to break into the Qadisiyah neighborhood in the northern part of the city, but it was not able to fully restore it.
The fighting has subsided in recent days, with the continued shelling, in addition to the interference of the Iraqi Air Force.
The military official said Sunday that the involvement of the international coalition, led by Washington, which performs air strikes against the organization in Syria and Iraq, “necessary” in the battle of Tikrit.
The commander of the Salah al-Din Operations Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi said: “If there was sometimes inaccurate information, the Americans have advanced devices, and they have AWACS aircraft (allocated to the control), and they can determine the exact goals, and processors also accurate.”
“The high-tech aircraft and weapons in (the coalition make) .. address any of them are necessary,” adding that the coalition’s failure to participate is the reason for a “political” and not militarily.
Alliance did not participate in the process from the beginning, as opposed to a senior Iranian role represents the existence of the Qods Force commander in the Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Salah al-Din, and the broad participation of the Shiite factions backed by Tehran.
Iraqi forces tried to retake Tikrit three times since June, but it was not able to do so.