BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi military and witnesses say government helicopter gunships have conducted airstrikes in the northern city of Tikrit.
Tikrit is the hometown of former dictator Saddam Hussein and one of two major cities to fall in recent weeks to the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and allied Sunni militants.
Chief Iraqi military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi says the air raids targeted Sunni insurgents attacking army troops, who have established a bridgehead at a university campus on the city's northern outskirts.
Government troops were ferried in by helicopter to the sprawling campus early Friday morning.
A Tikrit resident confirmed that air raids took place at the University of Tikrit around dawn Saturday. He spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.