• Iraq halts Tikrit operation to avoid losses


    BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces have halted a massive operation to retake the city of Tikrit from the Islamic State group to avoid casualties and protect infrastructure, Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). But it is unclear how stopping operations against the jihadists for anything other than an extended siege would change either of those situations, unless Iraqi forces receive additional external support such as air strikes. While Ghabban is responsible for his ministry’s forces, he is not the overall commander of the operation, and the myriad militias and army forces involved could have other plans.



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