The Test in Tikrit

March 9, 2015 8:42 PM

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Tikrit, the city on the Tigris ninety miles north of Baghdad, has long served as a symbol of Iraq’s ancient past. More recently, Saddam Hussein was born in one of its suburbs, and he was buried there after his execution, in 2006. Now Tikrit has become the test of Iraq’s future.

On March 1st, Iraq launched its first major offensive against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham since the movement seized a third of the country, last summer. The goal is to take back Tikrit, a city of a quarter million people, as the first step in recapturing the Sunni heartland. Without Tikrit...

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