US has discussed possible Tikrit airstrikes with Iraq: Officials

American officials say Washington has been in discussions with the Iraqi government on the possibility of US airstrikes to support the Iraqi ground offensive against a dug-in Islamic State group in Tikrit.

PTI| Updated: Mar 25, 2015, 22:29 PM IST

Washington: American officials say Washington has been in discussions with the Iraqi government on the possibility of US airstrikes to support the Iraqi ground offensive against a dug-in Islamic State group in Tikrit.

The talks raise the highly sensitive issue of US air support for an offensive spearheaded by Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias. The Pentagon on Tuesday said the Iraqi offensive had "stalled."

The US has said it is not coordinating any military actions with the Iranians.

Two US officials confirmed the talks about possible US airstrikes. They were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly on the record and so were granted anonymity.

On Tuesday, other officials said that at Baghdad's request the US-led coalition had begun aerial surveillance over Tikrit and is sharing the collected intelligence with the Iraqi government.