Iraqi forces launch offensive to retake Tikrit

2015-03-03 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Iraqi troops and militia fighters have launched an offensive to recapture the city of Tikrit from so-called Islamic state militants.

Listen to Nathan Morley’s report:

The military offensive is the largest since the militants took control of the city last year.

The offensive is the first in a series of campaigns to try to reclaim large parts of northern Iraq from the Sunni extremists.

Tikrit, the provincial capital of Salauhddin province130 kilometers north of Baghdad, fell to the Islamic State group last summer, along with Mosul and other areas in the country's Sunni heartland.

Retaking the city will help Iraqi forces secure a major supply link for any future operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city which has been under militant rule since June.

(from Vatican Radio)