News   /   Iraq

Iraqi forces retake control of Tikrit Grand Mosque

Iraqi policemen gather on the top of a mosque on the western outskirts of Tikrit, on March 28, 2015, during a military operation to retake the northern Iraqi city from ISIL. © AFP

The Iraqi army, backed by Shia and Sunni volunteers, has raised the Iraqi national flag over the Grand Mosque of Tikrit after recapturing the mosque in the northern city.

The forces also retook the city’s medicine college on Monday as they continued to gain more grounds against the ISIL Takfiri militants.

According to the Iraqi military, nearly 40 militants with the extremist group were killed in separate operations in the strategic city.

The Iraqi forces also announced that they have raised the national flag on top of Tikrit’s main hospital and an administrative building.

Tikrit is currently under a complete siege, which has left the ISIL militants paralyzed and trapped inside the city.

The Iraqi city, which is the birthplace of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, fell to ISIL in June last year. Its recapture is crucial for the Iraqi army in its quest to take control of the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, situated some 400 kilometers (248 miles) north of Baghdad.

ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have succeeded in driving the ISIL terrorists out of some areas in Iraq.


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