Friday, June 13, 2014

Iranian RG forces help al-Maliki retake control of Tikrit

The Wall Street Journal
by FARNAZ FASSIHI  June 12, 2014

BEIRUT, Lebanon—Iran deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to fight in Iraq, helping government troops there wrest back control of most of the city of Tikrit from militants, Iranian security sources said.
Two battalions of the Quds Forces, the overseas branch of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps that has long operated in Iraq, came to the aid of the besieged, Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, they said.
Combined Iraqi-Iranian forces retook control of 85% of Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, according to Iraqi and Iranian security sources.
They were helping guard the capital Baghdad and the two Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, which have been threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an al Qaeda offshoot. The Sunni militant group's lightning offensive has thrown Iraq into its worse turmoil since the sectarian fighting that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.



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