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

Marie Harrington
August 28, 2017

Progress in Tal Afar has been far more rapid than in Mosul, which fell to Iraqi forces only after a gruelling nine-month battle.

The Iraqi Army said it believes some 10,000 civilians remain inside the city, adding that it had secured safe corridors for them.

Iraq's military said Saturday that they had killed 259 fighters, indicating that many had fled the battle into the vast desert north and west of the city toward Syria.

Gen. Yahya Rasool said units from the joint Iraqi forces are in full control of 60% of the "operational area" and 90% of the city center of Tal Afar.

Last week, al-Abadi announced the launch of a ground offensive against the IS in Tel Afar, following the militants' defeat in its key stronghold of Mosul in July.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a news conference during a visit to Baghdad on August 26 that "we are present in the war and we will be present in the peace".

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The word "liberated" in Arabic was stamped on a map of Tal Afar.

France is a main partner in the USA -led coalition helping Baghdad fight the militants who seized parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

It said Counter-Terrorism Service special forces had also retaken Al-Taliaa district to the south and were tasked with expelling IS from the citadel, the last current target of the CTS in Tal Afar.

Directly targeted by the jihadists, most of the city's 200,000-strong population fled.

An Iraqi fighter waved an Iraqi flag as others behind flashed a victory gesture during the advance through the town of Tal Afar Saturday.

Officials have said the capture of the city would make it even more hard for the jihadists to transport fighters and weapons between Iraq and Syria. A predominantly Turkmen district، Tal Afar was overrun by the notorious terrorist group in mid-2014، along with vast territories in northern and western Iraq.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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