Iraqi officials continue to hype their military victory in Tikrit, and claim it ushers in a new round of offensives to take over the rest of the country, yet the reality is they haven’t even completely taken Tikrit.
The northern district of Tikrit, Qadisiya, remains under ISIS control, with estimates that hundreds of ISIS fighters, including snipers, remain holed up there. Most of the city’s defenses didn’t withdraw in the Iraqi offensive, they just moved north.
And while Iraqi forces and Shi’ite militias continue with looting and attacks on the Sunni population in the city, they don’t appear particularly eager to move against the northern district.
That could be a problem in the long run, as it virtually obliges Iraq to keep considerable forces in the city to prevent losing it back to ISIS fighters just a neighborhood away.