Offensive Fails, Iraqi Military Retreats From ISIS-Held Tikrit

Weeks of Fighting Ends With Military Defeat

Nearly three solid weeks of reports of Iraq’s Army either defeating the rebels to reclaim Tikrit or being on the cusp of defeating the rebels and regaining control over Tikrit, the military has withdrawn outright, leaving the city in ISIS hands.

Tikrit is one of several “contested” cities in the area due north of Baghdad, but after weeks of fighting there was a remarkable sense of calm today, as daily sorties from nearby Awja by Iraqi troops came to an end.

Iraq had been pouring troops into Tikrit in hopes of making it a high-profile victory in their counter-offensive against ISIS, but has been meeting heavy resistance in the Sunni-dominated city.

It’s unclear whether today’s withdrawal by military forces back to Awja means an end to the attempts to retake the city for now or was simply a one-off calm before the storm, but it does seem that is in other cities, Iraq’s military is not nearly up to the task of “routing” ISIS as they had promised.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.