Iraqi forces edge closer to Tikrit, enter Albu-Ajil village
Iraqi security forces, backed by volunteer forces, have entered the Albu-Ajil village south of Tikrit, as part of their offensive to liberate the city from ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
The forces pushed into the village from multiple directions on Sunday, al-Foratnews agency reported.
Media outlets close to the volunteer forces say the village will likely be completely purged of the Takfiri terrorists in hours.
Last week, 30,000 Iraqi forces started a huge operation to recapture the embattled city of Tikrit in the northern province of Salahuddin from Takfiri elements.
According to reports, a number of villages and oilfields near Tikrit, which is the birthplace of Iraqi former dictator Saddam Hussein, have been retaken.
The Ajil and Alas oilfields were recaptured along with the nearby village of al-Maibdi, situated on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk, the reports added.
Located some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, Tikrit was overrun by the ISIL terrorists in summer 2014 along with Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul and other areas in the Arab country’s Sunni heartland.
Tikrit has a strategic position as it sits on the road to Mosul.
The ISIL terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.