Iraqi forces push to retake area north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD - Backed by paramilitary forces and aerial support, Iraqi troops on Tuesday launched a new push to retake a key area north of the capital, Baghdad, and dislodge Islamic State militants from there, officials said.

See Full Article

According to a statement by the Joint Operations Command, the "new offensive" began at dawn in a swath agricultural area northeast of the city of Samarra, 95 kilometres north of Baghdad, with the aim to cut IS supply lines and to tighten the grip around the IS-held northern city of Mosul.

The command says paramilitary forces, mostly Shiite militias, and the Iraqi air force were backing the push on the area, called Jazerat Samarra. The statement did not say if the U.S.-led international coalition was involved in the operation.

Controlling the Jazerat Samarra area will not only restrict the IS militants' movements between the three provinces in the region, but willalso be essential for future operations to retake parts of Anbar province and Mosul, said Sabah al-Numan, the spokesman of the counter-terrorism forces.

Al-Numan told The Associated Press that two vehicles loaded with militants were bombed on Tuesday, and that the security forces managed to hit a would-be suicide car bomber before he reached his target.

The offensive comes on the heels of two massive bombings in as many days by the Islamic State group in the area - in the town of Muqdadiyah and in Baghdad - that killed at least 110 people.

Shiite lawmaker and spokesman for the paramilitary forces, Ahmed al-Asadi, said the offensive "is in retaliation for the blood of our martyrs and to annihilate the terrorist gangs that have wreaked havoc."

IS still controls much of northern and western Iraq, but has been driven back in recent months in some areas, such as the cities of Ramadi and Tikrit. The government last month declared the western city of Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital, "fully liberated" after it had been captured by IS last year.

Iraqi ground offensives - despite heavy backing from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes - have been slow in scoring key victories against the Islamic State. A campaign to retake Mosul, the main city held by Islamic State in Iraq, has long been believed to be imminent but has not taken off the ground yet.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Speed Skating Canada investigating 'substantive' complaints against head coach

    Canada News CBC News
    The head of Speed Skating Canada tells CBC News the organization is investigating "substantive" complaints against its head coach, Michael Crowe. CEO Susan Auch says the organization forced Crowe to leave his position on Jan. 9, just a month before the Winter Olympics after a number of athletes and coaches came forward. Source
  • Haz-mat investigators descend on 3rd Toronto property tied to accused killer Bruce McArthur

    Canada News CBC News
    A haz-mat team descended Saturday on a third Toronto property associated with Bruce McArthur, the accused killer of two men who vanished from the Gay Village last spring. Resident Stephen Haskett said he first noticed police in the neighbourhood Thursday, but didn't realize at the time why they were there. Source
  • Blaze at firecracker factory outside New Delhi kills at least 17

    World News CTV News
    NEW DELHI -- A massive fire broke out at a firecracker factory on the northern outskirts of the Indian capital on Saturday, killing at least 17 workers, a fire official said. A dozen fire engines took three hours to douse the fire in the Bawana industrial area of New Delhi. Source
  • B.C. school trustee vows to stay following controversial LGBTQ remarks

    Canada News CTV News
    CHILLIWACK, B.C. -- A school board trustee in British Columbia is vowing to stay in his job, despite calls that he resign over controversial remarks he made about LGBTQ issues. Barry Neufeld says in a statement that he "must" remain on the Chilliwack Board of Education to protect "impressionable children. Source
  • Tens of thousands stage anti-corruption protest in Romania

    World News CTV News
    BUCHAREST, Romania -- Tens of thousands of Romanians on Saturday protested against legislation passed by Parliament which critics say will make it harder to prosecute crime and high-level corruption. Protesters briefly scuffled with riot police as they massed in Bucharest's University Square. Source
  • Shutdown challenges Trump's brand as notorious dealmaker

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- He wrote a book on the art of negotiation and was elected to office claiming he alone could end Washington gridlock, but U.S. President Donald Trump's latest attempt to broker a big, bipartisan deal has turned into a big mess. Source
  • Manitoba woman charged after man stabbed, house lit on fire

    Canada News CTV News
    A Manitoba woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly stabbing a man and setting his house on fire. RCMP said the incident happened Friday in Lynn Lake, a remote community more than 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Source
  • 'Jury made the right decision,' says former MMA chairman of Lac-Mégantic verdict

    Canada News CBC News
    The former railway executive in charge of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) is speaking out after the acquittal of three of his former employees charged with criminal negligence causing death in the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. Source
  • Fatal shooting in Abbotsford, B.C., believed to be targeted: police

    Canada News CTV News
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Police say a 24-year-old man is dead following an apparent homicide in Abbotsford, B.C. The Abbotsford Police Department says in a statement that they received multiple reports of shots fired in a residential neighbourhood Friday evening. Source
  • Pence says U.S. stands 'shoulder to shoulder' with Egypt

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and Egyptian leader Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi pledged a united front against Mideast terrorism on Saturday as Pence, the highest-level American official to visit the U.S. ally in nearly a decade, began a trip through the region amid a government shutdown in Washington. Source