Iraqi security forces on Wednesday retook control of new areas from Islamic State (IS) terrorists on the outskirts of the city of Tal Afar in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, the Iraqi military said.
The Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces completely freed the southern part of Kifah neighbourhood at the western edge of Tal Afar after about 24 hours of heavy clashes with the terrorists; Xinhua news agency quoted Lt Gen Abdul-Amir Yarallah from the Joint Operations Command (JOC) as saying.
The federal police forces and the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units stormed the northern part of Kifah neighbourhood and managed in the afternoon to liberate the area after defeating IS terrorists, Yarallah said.
Also in the day, the Iraqi army’s 9th Armored Division and the paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units liberated al-Tanak neighbourhood on the eastern outskirts of the city and raised the Iraqi flag over some of its buildings, Yarallah added.
On August 20, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, declared the start of an operation to retake control of Tal Afar and nearby areas from IS militants.
“We announce the launch of an operation to liberate Tal Afar. I say to IS, either you surrender or die,” Abadi said.
Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul, is the last IS redoubt in the province of Nineveh.