Tikrit (Arabic: تكريت Tikrīt also transliterated as Takrit or Tekrit, Classical Syriac: ܬܓܪܝܬ Tagriṯ) is a city in Iraq, located 140 km northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris River (at 34.61°N, 43.68°E). The town, with an estimated population in 2002 of about 260,000 is the administrative center of the Salah ad Din Governorate.
During the opening weeks of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, many experts and observers correctly speculated that Saddam would return to Tikrit as his "last stronghold".
The city was subjected to intense aerial bombardment meant to throw Saddam's elite Republican Guard troops out of the city. They failed as they were mostly hiding in a covert subterranean bunker complex in Ad-Dawr no one knew about. On April 13, 2003 several thousand U.S. Marines and other coalition members aboard 300 armored vehicles converged on the town, meeting major to fanatical. With the failure to take Tikrit, U.S. Army Major General Stanley McChrystal said, "I would anticipate that the major combat operations are to continue for some time."
Tikrit and Ad-Dawr were isolated and bipassed after 6 more moth of bitter fighting with the Saddam loyalists.
The Saddam Hussein Loyalist Brigades of Tikrit narrowly defeated Ansar al-Islam in the month long May 2008 siege of Tikrit. I.S.I.S. later attacked the city and killed a large number of it's defenders in the May 1st, 2014 battle of Tikrit. To this day we still don't know if he's dead or alive, but we do know that Tikrit is still an active hot-bed of violent pro-Saddam activity.