Iraqi forces make breakthrough in Tikrit with U.S. help

March 31, 2015 3:41 PM

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WASHINGTON — Iraqi forces have taken the outskirts of Tikrit and are closing in on the center of the strategic city in what would be a breakthrough in the country's battle against Islamic State militants, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

The gains point to the effectiveness of U.S. warplanes, which joined the fight last week after Iraq's military failed to make any advances against the militants despite an overwhelming advantage in ground troops.

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