Baku. 3 March. REPORT.AZ/ In their most daring operation against the Islamic state to date, Iraqi government forces launched a large-scale military operation on Monday to regain Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit.
Since June 2014 Iraqi forces tried to retake Tikrit five times, failing each time. However, for this operation the Iraqi government assembled a formidable force of 20,000 troops, made up of regular army units, Shiite militias and Sunni tribesmen. But perhaps the worst news for IS terrorists is that the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps will be taking part in the offensive led by Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani.
Report informs citing Sputnik News, İn an unprecedented move, the Iraqi government and parliament officially requested General Soleimani to oversee the operation by supervising and advising Iraqi forces. Effectively, this means the Iranian general will be commanding the joint Iraqi-Iranian offensive on Tikrit.
The Iranian commander, who enjoys a great deal of influence among Shia militias in Iraq, arrived in Tikrit on Saturday and was received by a large crowd of Iraqi army leaders, soldiers, and Iraqi civilians hailing his presence.
Soleimani had played an active role in battles against the Islamic State in Iraq’s Diyala near the border with Iran; in Amerli, in the north of the country; and in Iraqi Kurdistan. He was also responsible for establishing “Hezbollah Syria,” and laying the grounds to thwart ISIL in Syria.