An offensive by insurgents that's threatening Iraq apparently has slowed Saturday after days of advances, Reuters reported, adding that government forces regained some territory in counterattacks, which took some strain from Shiite leaders in Baghdad.
Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters raise their weapons and chant slogans against the al-Qaida inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Baghdad's Sadr city, Iraq, Saturday, June 14, 2014, after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. (Image source: AP/Karim Kadim)
In fact, neighboring Shiite Iran seemed to indicate a possibility of aiding Iraq's struggle against Sunni militants, Reuters said.
In addition security sources told Reuters that Iraqi troops attacked an ISIL formation in al-Mutasim, a town 14 miles southeast of Samarra, which reportedly drove militants into desert on Saturday.
The army also reestablished control over the small town of Ishaqi, southeast of Samarra, securing a road that links the city to Baghdad and the cities of Tikrit and Mosul farther north.
More from Reuters:
Troops backed by the Shi'ite Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia helped retake the town of Muqdadiya northeast of Baghdad, and ISIL was dislodged from Dhuluiya after three hours of fighting with tribesmen, local police and residents, a tribal leader said.
In Udhaim, 90 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, Asaib and police fought militants who earlier occupied the local municipal building, an official there told Reuters, and they directed mortar fire at the government protection force of the Baiji oil refinery, Iraq's largest.
Read the full article from Reuters here.