Iraqi forces withdrawn from militant-held Tikrit after new push

Photo: Iraqi forces withdrawn from militant-held Tikrit after new push
 / Arab World

Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit after a new push to retake the city met heavy resistance, a soldier who fought in the battle said on Wednesday.

Government troops and allied Shi'ite volunteer fighters were forced to retreat just before sunset on Tuesday to a base four km (2.5 miles) south after coming under heavy mortar shelling and sniper fire, the sources said.

The attempt to retake Tikrit, which fell on June 12 to Sunni insurgents led by the extremist Islamic State group, began two-and-a-half weeks ago, Reuters reported.

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