Den irakiske hæren har ikke klart å ta tilbake Tikrit. To forsøk har slått feil. I stedet har ISIS stormet en viktig base utenfor byen, Camp Speicher, og tatt et stort antall soldater som fanger, kanskje også iranske, melder LongWarJournal.
Fangene skal ha blitt paradert gjennom Tikrits gater. Hvis iranske soldater har overgitt seg vil det være en stor utfordring for regimet i Teheran. De kan se en viktig alliert i ferd med å forsvinne.
Two days after repelling an Iraqi military attempt to retake the city of Tikrit, the Islamic State and its allies are said to have overrun Camp Speicher, a large base just outside the city that was being used in the failed effort to retake the provincial capital.
The Islamic State’s Salahaddin Division claimed in an official statement released on Twitter yesterday that it overran Camp Speicher and is in «control of the airport and the base completely.» In the statement, the Islamic State claimed it killed «scores» of Iraqi military personnel, including a brigadier general and a colonel. It also said that a number of pilots were killed in a «martyrdom» or suicide operation on the base before it was overrun.
The Islamic State also said it destroyed seven aircraft on the tarmac and its «detachments of air defense» shot down two additional aircraft, all of which are thought to be helicopters. The Iraqi military had been using helicopters to ferry troops and supplies to Camp Speicher and Tikrit University, where special forces troops attempted to gain a foothold in the northern part of the city.
Additionally, the Islamic State said it destroyed several armored and other vehicles, while the base’s fuel supply was set ablaze.
The Islamic State’s claims were echoed by McClatchy, who interviewed residents of Tikrit as well as a Kurdish military officer. One Tikrit resident said that more than 700 Iraqi soldiers and 150 «Iranians,» who are likely members of the Shia militias that have been augmenting the military, were based at Speicher. Captured members of the military and militia are said to have been paraded in the streets of Tikrit. Many are said to have been executed.