Iraqi forces recapture '70 percent' of Tal Afar from ISIS militants

Marsha Scott
August 28, 2017

"The Iraqi flag has been hoisted in Al-Nasr district", an eastern neighbourhood of the city, the Joint Operations Centre said in a statement.

"On the [Tal Afar] city plan, nothing is left [seized by terrorists], the cleanup is underway", Jubouri said.

Iraqi forces have "completely surrounded" fighters with the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in the northern city of Tal Afar, according Iraqi and USA officials. Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul, is the last IS stronghold in the province of Nineveh.

Tal Afar was the latest objective in the US-backed war on the Islamist group following the recapture in July of Mosul, where ISIS declared its self-proclaimed "caliphate" over parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

"The displaced people were transferred from security checkpoints to Nimrod camp, where they are receiving relief assistance", Al-Salem said.

Iraqi forces had been making gains in their battle to retake the key area from IS since announcing the start of the ground offensive on Sunday.

The next target in the area was the town of Al Ayadieh, 15km north of Tal Afar and strategically located on the road between the city and the Syrian border.

Tal Afar has given some of the dreaded IS terrorists.

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Hours before Abadi's announcement, the Iraqi air force dropped leaflets over the city telling the population to take precautions.

Intelligence sources estimate up to 20,000 civilians also remained.

The soldiers and allied fighters also freed al-Salam and Hassan Koi neighborhoods in central Tal Afar. The attacking troops are estimated to be around 50,000 strong.

"France is strongly committed to supporting Iraq within the framework of the global coalition against Daesh by providing air and logistical support to the Iraqi forces".

Until its takeover by Isis, Tal Afar was largely populated by Shia Turkmen, whose beliefs are anathema to the Sunni jihadists.

France has around 500 troops fighting alongside forces of a US-led coalition, the second largest contributor to the worldwide coalition that has carried out thousands of airstrikes against the IS in Iraq and Syria, and provided military equipment, training to Iraqi forces.

Iraqi military investigators said Friday they have discovered two mass graves near a former ISIS prison outside Mosul that contain the bodies of 500 ISIS victims.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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