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Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of central Tikrit: PM

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 01:12

Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite paramilitary battle to retake Tikrit from Islamic State, as the U.S. and its allies stage more air strikes against the Sunni jihadists elsewhere. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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One month into the fight for control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit... Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says its security forces -- supported by Shi'ite paramilitary troops -- have finally driven Islamic State from the city center. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) IRAQI PRIME MINISTER, HAIDER AL-ABADI, SAYING: "The Iraqi forces with the help of the Iraqi air force and the coalition air support have managed to deal heavy blows to Da'esh and the enemies of Iraq. Our ground forces have managed to liberate this land with the blood of Iraqis, Iraqis alone." Iraq has retaken the governor's headquarters and the main hospital. But the fight to control ALL of the town Saddam Hussein once called home continues -- as the Sunni jihadists still control several neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies continue to launch air strikes against Islamic State elsewhere in Iraq and Syria. They also carried out air strikes in Tikrit last week... Prompting the Iran-backed Shi'ite militia groups to temporarily walk away from the battlefield...but they returned to Tikrit on Tuesday.

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Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of central Tikrit: PM

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 01:12