Iraq Forces Battle Rebels in Saddam Hussein’s Home Town of Tikrit
Iraqi forces backed by tanks and helicopter gunships have started battling insurgents in Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit, one of two major cities seized by Sunni militants during a rapid advance across the north earlier this month.
The government received a boost with the arrival in Baghdad of five Sukhoi 25 warplanes purchased second-hand from Russia. The aircraft is designed to provide close air support to ground forces and to destroy mobile targets.
Iraqi air force commander Anwar Hama Amin said the military is “in urgent need of this type of aircraft during this difficult time”.