Friday, March 27, 2015
Blog #6 Iraq crisis: Tikrit push 'no longer led by Shia militia'
A US general says Iranian-backed Shia militia in Iraq are no longer leading the operation to recapture Tikrit from Islamic State (IS) militants. Gen Lloyd Austin, head of US Central Command, said the withdrawal was a precondition for US-led air strikes, which began on Wednesday night. The Iraqi military then launched a final push to drive IS from the city. Iraq asked the US-led coalition to mount air strikes on militants in Tikrit after the offensive stalled. The reason for the stall was to a lack of planning by the government and Iraqi forces. The city fell to IS last June and its recapture is considered a key step towards driving the jihadist group from Iraq's second city of Mosul, to the north.
From the the news report it looks like the government did not was the Shia militia leading the push to take back the city. This caused the stall of the initial push into the city. This might be a worry for the government of Iraq because it shows that the Shia militias might have different plans then they do. Hopefully we don't see another splinter among groups otherwise the Iraq government will have even more on their plate.