ISIS forces in northern Iraq briefly took control over the village of Tal Kusaiba, just east of Tikrit, today in a surprise offensive, killing the police chief and nine fighters from various militias supporting the defense of the Sunni village. The village was recovered later in the day in an offensive by the military and Badr Brigade.
Iraqi officials say they exploited a weak spot in the mountain ranges nearby to sneak forces into the village and around large forces trying to advance up the riverfront. The attack does not appear to have been a serious attempt to seize the village long-term, and nor do they appear to have tried to seriously defend it.
This is in keeping with ISIS “hit-and-run” tactics, both attempting to slow the offensive along the river by forcing some of the troops to double-back and re-capture the village, and to try to make a wider and wider front for the Iraqi security forces to try to defend.
This has proven particularly effective in the past, with ISIS often capturing villages briefly to greatly extend their front against the Kurdish Peshmerga, and taking advantage of that to prevent counterattacks from gaining momentum.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Palestinian Authority Threatens to Cut All Gaza Funds - August 21st, 2017
- Report: ISIS Attacks Grew in 2016, Despite Shrinking Territory - August 21st, 2017
- Trump Promises to 'Deal With Pakistan' on Afghan War - August 21st, 2017
- Trump Declares Open-Ended War in Afghanistan - August 21st, 2017
- Trump's Pentagon to Spend Nearly $500 Million on Gitmo Construction - August 21st, 2017