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

  • Manu Fernandez / AP

    A Weekend of Protest

    Over the past few days, thousands and thousands of citizens around the world marched through the streets, voicing their opposition to, or support for, dozens of issues.

  • Jessica Chou

    Americans at Work: The Gig Economy

    This week, our “Americans at Work photo essay features photographs of millennial freelancers living in Los Angeles made by photographer Jessica Chou.

  • Gleb Garanich / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 2/11–2/17

    An overflowing dam in California, the Yanshui Beehive Rockets Festival in Taiwan, Beyonce at the Grammys, Carnival in Venice, protests in Romania, and much more.

  • Christinne Muschi / Reuters

    Refugees Fleeing Into Canada From the United States

    Reuters photographer Christinne Muschi recently spent time photographing refugees who took taxis to the end of a dead-end road in the U.S. to walk across the border into Canada, into the custody of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Join the Discussion