Sunday, June 29, 2014

#ISIS Forces Repel Counteroffensive at Tikrit, Bring Down Iraqi Helicopter — #Iraq

I don't see photos of the downed copter, but it's being reported at Haaretz, "ISIS militants shoot down Iraqi chopper as Tikrit assault enters 2nd day," and the Irish Times, "Militants bring down army helicopter over Tikrit."

Meanwhile, jihadists have repelled the government's counteroffensive.

At the Washington Post, "Militants repel Iraqi forces’ attempt to recapture Tikrit," and the Wall Street Journal, "Iraqi Forces Stalled in Push Against Militants, Say Officials: Government's Official Statements Say Tikrit Has Been 'Cleansed'":

BAGHDAD—Iraqi security forces were locked in a standoff outside the city of Tikrit on Sunday morning, local security officials said, as the military's most muscular effort to beat back a three-week-old Sunni insurgency appeared to stall.

The military offensive, which began Saturday afternoon after weeks of preparation, was hampered by extensive land-mine formations laid by insurgents on the main road between Samarra, the provisional headquarters of Iraqi forces north of Baghdad, and Tikrit, according to security forces at the Samarra Command Center.

Reports from the ground contradicted government statements carried by the official television station, which said Iraqi security forces had "cleansed" Tikrit and were preparing to recapture all of the surrounding Salah Al Din province in the coming hours.

But as of Sunday morning, Iraqi forces still hadn't succeeded in taking Tikrit, the birthplace of former President Saddam Hussein and a flash point in the Sunni-led resistance against American forces following the 2003 invasion, according to residents of the city...
Continue reading.

More at Euronews, "Tikrit battle continues as Iraq attempts to recapture town from ISIL."