Members of the Iraqi anti-terrorism forces wave the national flag in celebration after securing a checkpoint from Sunni militants in the village of Badriyah, 15 kms West of Mosul on August 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) pushed back against a fresh government assault on the Iraqi city of Tikrit, hometown of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, officials and residents said Tuesday.The government attempt to retake Tikrit came as U.S. planes carried out renewed airstrikes around the Mosul dam, captured by Kurdish forces Monday. Fighters from ISIS have occupied Tikrit and the northern city of Mosul since early June, as well as large parts of the country's north and west. The government, whose forces folded when jihadist-led militants swept across five provinces, has made Tikrit a priority but has already failed twice to retake it. Fighting erupted Tuesday in the area surrounding the dam and U.S. warplanes carried out fresh strikes targeting ISIS, a senior officer in the Kurdish peshmerga forces told AFP.
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