Iraqi forces celebrating victory in Tikit. AFP photo.
TIKRIT, Iraq – As Iraqi security forces fortify their control of Tikrit, they still wait for the battle with Islamic State over a remaining district where hundreds of ISIS fighters are still holed up.
“In Tikrit, the Qadisiya area is the only place yet to be liberated from ISIS,” observed Jamil al-Ghazali, a Rudaw reporter on the scene. “There are checkpoints at the city’s main entry ways,” he said.
“The situation is stabilized. Iraqi security forces are seen all around the city and there are checkpoints to protect visitors. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces are seen moving in nearby towns and districts.”
There has been no exchange of fire between Iraqi forces and militants hiding in Qadisiya.
But Iraqi forces say they fear reports that an estimated 500 ISIS suicide attackers are holed up in the district, complicating the task of entirely liberating the city of ISIS.
Iraqi forces backed by US-led airstrikes liberated Tikrit in Salahadin province from ISIS on Wednesday, after nearly a 10-month occupation.