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The decision to give air support to the Tikrit campaign represents the biggest collaboration so far by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed paramilitaries and opens a new chapter in the war.In language that appeared to intentionally omit the Iranian-backed militia, Lieutenant General James Terry, the senior U.S. commander of the U.S.-led coalition, said the strikes were aimed at enabling "Iraqi forces under Iraqi command".Iraqi forces pounded Islamic State positions in Tikrit on Wednesday, resuming an offensive that had stalled for almost two weeks. Two military officers in the city confirmed Iraqi forces were shelling the militants.
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