Iraqi Military Forces Retake most of Tal Afar from Islamic State Militant Group

Latest military reports from Iraq indicate that the country’s forces have retaken almost all of Tal Afar, Islamic State stronghold in Iraq’s northwest.

In a fighting that took nearly nine days, the gallant forces have almost recaptured all 29 neighbourhoods in Tal Afar that had been taken by the militant group.

According to Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, heavy fighting continues in al-’Ayadiya, a small locality, about 11 kilometers northwest of the city, where Islamic State militants who fled the district’s city center were hiding out.

Iraqi forces were waiting to retake the area before declaring complete victory in the offensive, Brigadier Rasoo added.

Tal Afar is the latest objective in the U.S.-backed war on the extremist group following the recapture of Mosul in July, where it declared its self-proclaimed caliphate over parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

The offensive on Tal Afar, which lies on the supply route between Syria and the former Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, started on Aug. 20. Up to 2,000 militants were believed to be defending the city against around 50,000 attackers, according to Iraqi and western military sources.

Such a quick collapse of Islamic State in the Tal Afar, which has been a breeding ground for extremist groups, would confirm Iraqi military reports that the militants lack command and control structures west of Mosul.

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