The operation to retake Tikrit continued today, although Tikrit city itself does not appear to be the immediate priority for the combined forces. Since the start of the ground operation on March 2, the the eastern and southern axes have been the primary focus.
Both the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) plan to conduct attacks in Lebanon in the near term.
The operation to re-capture Tikrit, prosecuted by the ISF, Shi’a militias, and Sunni tribal forces, has begun with main efforts targeting two areas east of the city, Alam and Dour.
ISIS core control zones inside Iraq and Syria have not shifted significantly since anti-ISIS operations began in June 2014, though anti-ISIS forces have cleared ISIS from several of its major frontier positions in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS Forces Defeated on Multiple Fronts: Continued victories by YPG forces supported by local militias, rebel groups, and U.S.–led coalition air strikes have considerably challenged ISIS in northern Syria.
Intense clashes erupted today as the ISF, Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias, and Iraqi Sunni anti-ISIS fighters advanced toward ISIS positions on the outskirts of the Tikrit and strategic areas south, north, and east of the city.
The ground operation to retake Tikrit and its surrounding areas has begun.
ISIS has been taking defensive measures in Mosul in anticipation of an operation to retake the city.
In the week following the Ukrainian surrender of Debaltseve, a strategic rail junction between the separatist strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, the conflict has exhibited a pattern of hostilities reminiscent of the frequently violated ceasefire period from September 2014 to January 2015.