Iraqi Soldiers Continue to Resist ISIS Attacks

Iraq Military
Kurdish peshmerga fighters keep watch during the battle with Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Mosul on Jan. 21. Image taken from Wikimedia.

Iraqi soldiers and allies continue to fight ISIS in the city of Tikrit, Iraq. Although fighting the opposition has become a large part of the their strategy plan, Iraqi soldiers also wish to restore some normalcy and to help the people who are trapped in Tikrit directly.

Because of the fighting generated by ISIS, 30 families were stuck for 10 months in Albu Safah, a Sunni village south of Tikrit. To help the families, “a powerful Shiite [Shia Muslim] armed group handed out food and supplies,” stated a CNN article written by Ben Wedeman, Laura Smith-Spark and Greg Botelho, to provide some sustenance. Although ISIS never entered Tikrit directly, the organization fired rockets over the city, causing chaos and instilling fear into the hearts of the residents.

The longstanding battle between Shia and Sunni Muslims was put aside to fight against a common enemy. The goal of the Iraqi army is to continue their journey for peace in areas that were hurt by an ISIS invasion; driving ISIS out of Tikrit is only the beginning of a long solution. The terror organization only inhabits a small part of Tikrit currently, but Iraqi soldiers have a good handle on the situation. Iraqi soldiers and allies figured that if they can help the small city of Tikrit, they can help Mosul, a much larger city in Iraq that ISIS has also invaded.

Mosul is currently under strict supervision, which makes getting out difficult. There used to be ways to see the doctor or get an education by handing over documents for cars and houses, but now, even that offer has been terminated. ISIS fighters have retreated to Mosul because of the recent attacks in Tikrit. People in Mosul are beginning to notice that ISIS is losing support day after day, yet it is still unclear whether Iraqi soldiers can keep their control in Tikrit, and start their way to take control in Mosul.

Although the ISIS opposition has brought some relief to residents in affected cities, the terror group continues to prove their dominance. The provincial capital, Ramadi, which is located 100 miles south of Tikrit, was attacked by ISIS presence. Faleh al-Issawi, deputy head of the Anbar provincial council, concluded that the assault in Ramadi was because of the Iraqi militant presence in Tikrit.

The tragedies did not end in the small city of Tikrit, where floating bodies were found coming down the Tigris River. The bodies, which were executed by ISIS, symbolized the savage nature of the organization, and its determination to inflict fear. The horror continued when hundreds of homemade bombs were detonated under the Iraqi army headquarters, which killed more than 40 Iraqi soldiers. However, the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS stated that the Iraqis were successful in fending off the ISIS attack, which will help weaken them in their future efforts to dominate other territories.

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