The battle for Tikrit city is likely nearing. Combined forces from the ISF, Iraqi Shi'a militias, and Iraqi Sunni tribal fighters from Salah ad-Din Province have been making gains on the eastern front where the majority of military operations have taken place so far.
Since the start of the operation to capture Tikrit and its environs, the ISF, Iraqi Shi'a militias, and Iraqi Sunni tribal fighters from Salah ad-Din have been advancing from two main axes: south, from Samarra, and east, from the direction of Diyala and Kirkuk.
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.