An armed vehicle in Iraq
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Iraq: On the front line in the battle for Tikrit

In Iraq, coalition aircraft have joined the effort to regain control of Tikrit from Islamic State (IS) forces.

The BBC understands that reconnaissance flights were requested by the Iraqi government last week.

Iraqi forces, backed by Iran, are preparing a large-scale operation to retake Tikrit - but so far they have been unable to advance on the city centre because of fierce resistance from IS fighters.

Jonathan Beale reports from the front line.

Go to next video: Battle of Tikrit 'far from over'