US and coalition aircraft bombed Islamic State jihadists in Tikrit, lending air power to Iraqi forces who have struggled to recapture the town despite Iranian assistance.

With the offensive against IS in Tikrit bogged down, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi made a belated request for US support after having relied solely on Iran’s military advice and aid, officials said.

The United States, worried about Iran’s high-profile association with the operation, seized a chance to exert its influence and US fighter jets and bombers were ordered in. […]