The Battle for Tikrit

For the past two weeks, 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and police officers, and several increasingly influential paramilitary popular mobilization units (primarily Shiite militias, many backed by Iran), have been advancing on the city of Tikrit and the surrounding ISIS-held territory north of Baghdad. The campaign to roll back gains made by ISIS militants in northern Iraq last year has already led to the recapturing of Tikrit's outskirts and many surrounding towns. Saddam Hussein once called Tikrit home, and his tomb was erected there—a structure reduced to rubble by recent battles. Photojournalists traveled to the front lines with the pro-government forces to collect these images. The Reuters photographer Thaier Al-Sudani reported that most areas that were retaken had no residents, and that "after the battle they would resemble ghost towns, nothing but burnt cars and charred bodies of Islamic State fighters." As of today, ISIS still controls parts of Tikrit, and the New York Times reports that Iraqi government forces have paused the offensive to call for reinforcements and to preserve property and civilian lives.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Beach Classroom, Giant Eye, Trench Puppies

    Cherry blossoms in Germany, Fashion Week in Madrid, an island castle in Switzerland, Ramadan prayers in Mecca, a volcanic eruption in the Caribbean, a comfort dog at the U.S. Capitol, and much more

  • Luis Tato for The Washington Post

    Winners of the 2021 World Press Photo Contest

    Some of the winning entries in this year’s annual photo competition

  • Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty

    Protecting Crops Against a Spring Frost

    Images of a widespread battle against the cold in France, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland

  • Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Plastic Lake, Van Cat, Burning Judas

    Ballet in an empty Syrian market, a forest fire in California, a briefing by the Easter Bunny in the White House, riots in Northern Ireland, a giant sand dune in France, and much more