Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday declared the "liberation" of Tikrit from the Islamic State group, after a weeks-long operation that was Baghdad's biggest yet against the jihadists. Abadi "announces the liberation of Tikrit and congratulates Iraqi security forces and popular volunteers on the historic milestone," his official Twitter account said, referring to allied paramilitaries who have played a major role in the fighting. Iraqi soldiers and police and Popular Mobilisation units -- paramilitary forces dominated by Shiite militias -- began the battle to retake Tikrit on March 2. They were able to recapture towns near Tikrit and then surrounded it, but faced difficulties pushing into the city and the operation stalled.
KUWAIT CITY (AP) — International donors committed $3.8 billion in aid for Syrians affected by the grinding civil war at a donors' conference in Kuwait on Tuesday, less than half of what the United Nations requested in its largest appeal yet for the country.