IS destroys 10 Saddam-era palaces in Iraq

Baghdad, Jan 30 (IANS/EFE) Islamic State (IS) militants blew up 10 palaces from the Saddam Hussein era (1979-2003) in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, the birthplace of Hussein, the late president of the country.

According to police sources, among the palaces destroyed was Al Faruq, the largest presidential palace, which was built in Tikrit, the capital of the Saladin province, 170 km north of Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad.
The other buildings were being used as government offices by the provincial authorities until Tikrit was captured last June by the IS, the sources added.
Witnesses said many IS fighters departed the city carrying weapons and furniture towards the town of Alm, 15 km northeast of the city.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces were reported to be preparing for an offensive on Tikrit and the northern areas of the Saladin province, after managing to liberate many areas in the southern part of the province earlier this month.