Iraqi troops conquer part of Tikrit

(AGI) Rome, March 11 - Iraqi troops have retaken part ofTikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. They have entered thenortheastern area of Qadisiya on the 10th day of theircounter-offensive. The city was taken by Islamic State fightersin June. Troops, helped by Shiite militia, managed to raise theIraqi national flag on the military hospital. Less progress hasbeen made in the advance into the southern and western quartersof the city. The offensive, which involved more than 30,000men, was supported by Iran which has been coordinating thetroops and militia. On Tuesday the troops took al-Alam, in

(AGI) Rome, March 11 - Iraqi troops have retaken part ofTikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. They have entered thenortheastern area of Qadisiya on the 10th day of theircounter-offensive. The city was taken by Islamic State fightersin June. Troops, helped by Shiite militia, managed to raise theIraqi national flag on the military hospital. Less progress hasbeen made in the advance into the southern and western quartersof the city. The offensive, which involved more than 30,000men, was supported by Iran which has been coordinating thetroops and militia. On Tuesday the troops took al-Alam, in thenorthern area of Tikrit, paving the way for the attack on thecity of Tikrit. Troops and militia have now taken the suburbsof Hayakel, al Daiyoum, al Asry and al Sinai after several daysof bombing and heavy fighting. Sources claimed that "the armywill raise the flag of Iraq on the top of the Salah al Din'sgovernorship building". Baghdad's Minister for ProvincialAffairs of Bagdhad, Ahmed Abdullah al Jubouri, said: "The cityhas been surrounded by the Iraqi army and Shiite forces,forcing some Islamic State members to flee to Huwaija." Theadvance has been slowed down by about 6,000 anti-personnelmines laid by IS. On Wednesday morning, troops dealt withsnipers and defused explosives hidden along the roads or inbuildings. In the western suburbs, the offensive was halted bya minefield. Iraqi sources have reported the advance, but theinformation cannot be verified. If the Shiite-ruled Iraqigovernment reconquers Tikrit it would be the first large citytaken away from the Sunnite jihadists. It would also lead tothe reconquering of Mosul. .