US-led airstrikes paved way for Tikrit battle: top US general

March 7, 2015 11:20 AM

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ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT: The one-two punch of Iranian-back militias and Iraqi government troops is likely to prevail in the unfolding battle for Tikrit, but it would not have been possible if U.S. airstrikes had not tied down ISIS fighters elsewhere in northern Iraq, the top U.S. general said.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by reporters traveling with him from Washington to Iraq whether he believes ISIS will be pushed out of Tikrit.

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