Iraqi forces have retaken the Salaheddin provincial government headquarters in Tikrit from the Islamic State jihadist group, a significant advance in the battle to recapture the city, officials said today.
The spokesman for the Badr militia said members of the Popular Mobilisation units — pro-government paramilitary forces dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias — took part in the fighting, after some froze offensive operations last week in response to US-led air strikes.
“Iraqi forces cleared the government complex in Tikrit,” an army major general said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The government buildings have been under our control since last night.”
It is the most significant advance in Tikrit since pro- government forces launched an operation to retake the city on March 2, their largest since IS led an offensive that overran much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland last June.
Salaheddin Governor Raad al-Juburi confirmed that the government headquarters had been retaken, saying that Iraqi flags now flew over various recaptured buildings in the city.