Iraqi forces withdraw from ISIS-held Tikrit

Members of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) prepare before going out on a patrol in the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad, June 30, 2014

Iraq state forces have retreated from the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, held by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, after a renewed effort to take back the city was met with heavy opposition, according to a soldier who fought in the operation on Wednesday.

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) along with Shiite volunteer fighters were forced to retreat at dusk on Tuesday to a command post 2.5 miles south after taking heavy mortar bombardment and sniper fire, the source said.

“IS (Islamic State) deployed captured ISF vehicles in recent assault operation in hostile al-‘Allām tribal area east of Tikrīt,” ISIS crowed on its twitter account.

The attempt to recapture Tikrit, which fell under the black flag of ISIS began two-and-a-half weeks ago, Reuters reported.

No violence was reported in Tikrit on Wednesday morning, according to residents…

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