MENA Intelligence update 03 Mar 2015- Provided by Global Risk Awareness

Iraq: Kurdish sources indicate a US national carries out suicide bombing near Samarra

Kurdish sources indicated that United States national Abu Dawud Al-Amriki detonated his explosives-laden truck in front of a group of Iraqi soldiers, killing at least 12 people, just outside of Samarra during morning hours local time.

Meanwhile, intense clashes continued between Iraqi troops – backed by allied militias – and IS cadres outside of Tikrit in the suburb of al-Dour, the al-Zuhur district and the northern area of Qadisiy; 24-hours prior, Iraq launched a major offensive to retake Tikrit from IS cadres but had failed to make gains in the actual city as of afternoon hours.

Syria: Kurdish forces, Syrian military continue to make gains against IS in Hassakeh

In separate and uncoordinated battles, the Kurdish People’s Protection Unites (YPG) and Syrian regime troops continued with their uncoordinated offensives against IS-controlled areas of northeastern Hassakeh province with reports indicating regime forces had regained control of at least 23 villages.

The offensive is likely to continue until Syrian troops regain control of the strategic main road linking Hassakeh to Qamishli. Meanwhile, YPG forces and allied Arab tribes engaged in fierce clashes with IS cadres in southwest Hassakeh, including in a locale just oustide of Tal Ramr as well as in Tal Brak. Sources indicated the fighters were intensely shelling IS positions in both areas an effort to identify and confirm their locations which would then be transmitted to US forces for airstrikes.