Opening New Iraq Front, U.S. Strikes ISIS in Tikrit

(New York Times) Rod Nordland and Peter Baker - American planes began airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Tikrit on Wednesday, joining a stalled offensive to retake the Iraqi city as American officials sought to seize the initiative from Iran, which had taken a major role in directing the operation. For more than three weeks, the Americans had stayed on the sidelines of the battle, wary of aiding an essentially Iranian-led operation. President Obama approved the airstrikes on the condition that Iranian-backed Shiite militias move aside to allow a larger role for Iraqi government counterterrorism forces that have worked closely with U.S. troops. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards who has been advising forces around Tikrit, was reported on Sunday to have left the area.

2015-03-26 00:00:00

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