Iraq recaptures Tal Afar center, citadel from Daesh
Iraq recaptures Tal Afar center, citadel from Daesh
Iraq : Forces advance towards heart of IS-held bastion
28 August, 2017, 01:41
Majority of Tal Afar City has been reclaimed by the Iraqi forces after a weeklong battle with the Islamic State terrorists. US backed operations to retake the city of Mosul took almost 10 months due to the almost 2 million civilians inside the city at the time the battle began.
Tal Afar has experienced cycles of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites after the USA -led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has produced some of Islamic State's most senior commanders.
Up to 2,000 militants were believed to be defending Tal Afar when the campaign to take back the city started on August 20.
The militant group has lost much of the territory it controlled and thousands of its fighters have been killed.
Officials have said they hope to announce victory in Tal Afar by Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday set to start in Iraq on September 2. The battle for Tal Afar could also escalate tensions between Iraq, its ethnic Kurdish minority, Turkey and Syria.
The soldiers and allied fighters also freed al-Salam and Hassan Koi neighborhoods in central Tal Afar.
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He warned saying: "If politics and religion mix, it will create troubles like what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan". KC Tyagi also said that according to the law, Sharad Yadav might lose his Rajya Sabha membership for anti-party activity.
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The commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) initiated a new push at the edge of the adjacent al-Nidaa neighborhood, Yarallah noted.
The city, located 80km west of Mosul, has produced some of ISIL's most senior commanders. "So we should look for surprise ISIL offensives, probably on the edge of Tal Afar, to distract and disorient the Iraqi forces".
At the same time, USA and Iraqi airstrikes were pounding the city, an important way station for the Islamic State to move fighters and resources between the territory it controlled in Syria and Iraq.
"Tal Afar was an important point of identity for Daesh", Hashimi said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
He added the ministry would continue to evacuate and receive displaced persons from the surrounding regions as they are being liberated and provide quick humanitarian aid.
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Obaidi added that most of Tal Afar residents had fled towards Turkey, noting that many districts in the city had been deserted. Last month, Iraq declared victory over IS in Mosul, the country's second largest city, after a grueling nine-month campaign.
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