This is coolbert:
From the Stars and Stripes thanks to the tip from Freeper we have an update on the current battle in and around Tikrit.
"Heavy casualties, discord stall Iraqi operation to recapture Tikrit"
An offensive by the Iraqi National Army and Shia militia having STALLED and most precipitously and ominously so."
"ISTANBUL (Tribune Content Agency) — The much ballyhooed Iraqi government operation to capture the central city of Tikrit from the Islamic State has stalled three weeks after it began, amid widespread reports that Shiite Muslim militias and the government are badly divided over tactics and roiled by claims that the militias have engaged in war crimes against the local Sunni Muslim population"
. . . .
"An Iraqi military commander on the scene who asked not be identified discussing sensitive national security matters described a difficult task ahead for any troops sent in to dislodge the Islamic State forces, whose numbers have been described as a few hundred."
DEFENSE IS THE STRONGER FORM OF COMBAT!! Easier to do and you can accomplish more with less. Those few hundred men very determined and fighting in a pre-planned manner, willing to sacrifice themselves making for formidable opponents.
That combination of sniper fire, fortifications hardened, booby traps, IED and EFP, fanatical troops, suicide bombers, etc., making for a formidable combination, that defender also having the upper hand in urban warfare, only the most able, prepared and properly equipped and motivated troops able to conduct and offensive operation when faced with such an adversary.
ISIL always incorporating into all operations the suicide bomber either wearing an explosive vest or driving a truck wired as a massive bomb!!
Those Shia militia in particular lack staying power? NO organic ability to sustain themselves for the long haul.
That presence of Iranian senior Revolutionary Guard officers perhaps if present only exacerbating matters? Divided command and discord the result.