As military officials are hoping victory in a month-long battle, state television said Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi was visiting the city, which the ISIL militants captured last June as they seized most of Iraq's Sunni territories.
Security forces, backed by volunteer forces, were fighting to clear the last ISIL stronghold, the northern neighborhood of Qadissiyah, Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban told reporters in the city.
"Most of Tikrit today is liberated, only small parts remain (outside our control). We will give you the good news in the next few hours after eliminating the pockets that are still in the city," Ghabban said.
The city's streets were completely abandoned, and buildings scarred by gunfire.
In the meantime, Western media accuse Iran of interfering with developments in Iraq.
But Iran denies the claims and maintains that it only helps the neighbor country with military knowhow through advisors.