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Official: US-led force flying over Islamic State-held Tikrit

Coalition official: US-led force providing surveillance flights over Islamic State-held Tikrit

Official: US-led force flying over Islamic State-held Tikrit

BAGHDAD (AP) -- A senior coalition official says the U.S.-led force has begun surveillance flights over the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit and offering intelligence to the Iraqi forces trying to take it.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists about the matter, said the support began on Saturday at the request of the Iraqi government.

He declined to comment on whether they are providing airstrikes, saying he cannot discuss current or future operations.

Iraqi security forces, backed by Iranian-supported Shiite militias, launched a large-scale offensive to recapture Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, earlier this month. The U.S. previously had said that the Iraqi government never asked them to participate in the campaign.

Updated : 2021-09-21 15:42 GMT+08:00