Iraq Launches Offensive Against ISIS

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Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces today began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit from the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

The offensive is seen as a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by ISIS.

Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, fell into the hands of the militant group last summer, along with the country's second-largest city of Mosul and other areas in the country's Sunni heartland, after the collapse of national security forces.

Tikrit is one of the largest cities held by the Islamic State, or ISIS, and sits on the road to Mosul. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with BBC correspondent Ahmed Maher, who is in Baghdad.

Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.


  • Ahmed Maher, BBC correspondent in Baghdad. He tweets @a_maherpress

This segment aired on March 2, 2015.



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