Iraqi Forces Capture Two IS Neighborhoods in Tal Afar

Published August 23rd, 2017 - 07:57 GMT
In the past 24 hours, 20,000 people have fled from Tal Afar in northern Iraq. (AFP/File)
In the past 24 hours, 20,000 people have fled from Tal Afar in northern Iraq. (AFP/File)

Iraqi forces have captured two neighborhoods of Iraq’s Tal Afar as part of an ongoing offensive aimed at dislodging Daesh militants from the northern district, according to an Iraqi military source.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Tuesday, Army Colonel Abdul-Amir al-Mohamadawi, a spokesman for the army’s rapid-response forces, said Tal Afar’s western Al-Kefah al-Shamali neighborhood had been wrested from the grip of the terrorist group.

According to Army Colonel Dorgham al-Hudairi, Iraqi forces and the Hashd al-Shaabi (a largely Shia fighting force incorporated into the Iraqi army last year) have also managed to capture Tal Afar’s eastern Al-Nour neighborhood.

The latest gains are part of an ongoing army campaign -- launched Sunday -- to recapture the majority-Turkmen district, which was overrun by Daesh in 2014 along with additional territories in northern and western Iraq.

 

 

Meanwhile, at least three police personnel and eight Hashd al-Shaabi fighters were killed when Daesh militants attacked federal police forces in southern Tal Afar, Musab al-Jalili, an army rapid-response officer, told Anadolu Agency.

“Our forces had to beat a hasty retreat after coming under heavy enemy fire,” al-Jalili said.

An estimated 10,000 civilians have reportedly fled their homes in Tal Afar within the past 24 hours due to heavy fighting in the area.

“Displaced civilians have been taken to temporary camps set up behind army lines,” Army Captain Jabbar Hassan told Anadolu Agency.

Since the operation to retake Tal Afar began, Iraqi military officials have announced the capture of several villages on the district’s outskirts.

According to UN estimates, between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians are still residing in Tal Afar and surrounding areas.

Daesh’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” collapsed last month when the Iraqi army recaptured the northern city of Mosul after a nine-month military campaign.


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