At this point the campaign against DAESH in Iraq appears to be stalled or, at the very least, inhaling. Here’s how things stand at this point.
Operations by Iraqi forces to capture Tikrit from Islamic State militants have been temporarily halted to allow civilians to leave the city, the country’s interior minister said.
Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban said the offensive, which started early this month, has achieved 90% of its objectives and squeezed the militants into a small part of the city center.
Speaking Monday, al-Ghabban said that extremists from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, had booby-trapped buildings in the center of the city and that Iraqi forces, backed by Shiite militias and Iranian advisers, had slowed their push to reduce their casualties, protect the infrastructure and allow residents to leave.
That’s the benign interpretation of what’s happening. There are others, for example it might be that the leaders of the pro-government forces just don’t know what to do at this point and are trying to make up their minds.
in Ramadi DAESH is intensifying its efforts:
(Bloomberg) — Islamic State militants have increased their attacks to capture Ramadi since Iraq began a military operation to retake the city of Tikrit in Salahuddin province, said Faleh al-Issawi, deputy chief of the Anbar provincial council.
The group has hit Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, with 150 mortar shells and attacked security forces with 23 car bombings since Wednesday, al-Issawi said in a telephone interview Saturday.
Ramadi is an hour and a half by truck from Baghdad.
The pro-government forces’ campaign to re-take Mosul has not yet begun. There are reports that Muslawi are attempting to flee the city but that’s been true for some time.