The Iraqi Offensive North of Samarra

Recent footage from the offensive on ISIS shows Kata'ib Hezbollah attacking the Sur Ashnas Fortress north of Samarra. Government forces backed by allied Shia and Sunni fighters have begun a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. A force of 20,000 soldiers and fighters are trying to advance into Tikrit on Monday to force the armed group from the historic city and the surrounding Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. State-run Al-Iraqiya television said that forces were attacking Tikrit from different directions, backed by artillery and airstrikes by Iraqi fighter jets. Iraqi security forces said they have now retaken control of al-Dour, including the countryside where former President Saddam Hussein was found hiding, Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, who is in Baghdad, reported.