Iraqi military: Most of Tal Afar seized from ISIS

by Garry Watts August 27, 2017, 0:16
Iraqi military: Most of Tal Afar seized from ISIS

The federal police forces and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units recaptured the neighbourhoods of Qadsiyah Oula, Qadsiyah Thaniyah and al-Rabie, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah from the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.

Earlier Friday، another Iraqi military source، speaking anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media، told Anadolu Agency that 6،000 civilians had been evacuated from Tal Afar within the past 48 hours due to fierce fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIL. Tal Afar is located roughly 60 kilometers east of the Iraq-Syria border.

Tal Afar and the surrounding area are among the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in Mosul, the country's second-largest city.

Almost 2,000 militants were believed to be preparing to defend the area from over 40,000 Iraqi forces.

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About three quarters of Tal Afar remains under militant control including the Ottoman-era citadel at its centre, according to an operational map published by the Iraqi military.

Dillon, for his part, said that IS militants holed up in the town of Tal Afar were now "completely surrounded", going on to assert that the terrorist group "stands on the verge of another major defeat". The UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported it received more than 3,000 civilians in the first days of the offensive with thousands more expected to flee. The district has produced some of the armed group's most senior commanders.

Those who flee through desert areas face soaring temperatures for long periods, putting them at risk of dehydration, said Viren Falcao of the Danish Refugee Council.

People are arriving at camps for displaced people with wounds from sniper fire and mine explosions.


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