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Iraqi Air Force Kicks off Heavy Raids on ISIL’s Defense Lines in Tal Afar

15 August 2017 17:43

 

The Iraqi Air Force started targeting ISIL’s strongholds in Tal Afar city to pave the way for the ground forces to kick off their liberation operation of the terrorist-held city in Northwestern Iraq, Spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry Mohammad al-Kudari announced on Tuesday.

Al-Khudari announced that the air force launched Tal Afar liberation operation by carrying out aerial attacks on ISIL’s positions on Tuesday.

He stressed that the ground offensive to retake Tal Afar, located 70 kilometers West of Mosul, will start following the completion of those strikes.

Following the start of the offensive, a local source said that six large explosions rocked several areas in Tal Afar. One of the blasts reportedly hit a workshop used to manufacture explosives in West of the city.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of damage inflicted on the terrorists.

A top Iraqi general said on Sunday that the Iraqi army was fully ready with a plan in its hands to attack ISIL in Tal Afar and recapture the strategic region.

The army was awaiting a command from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to move onto Tal Afar, Othman al-Ghanimi, said Iraqi army’s chief of staff.

Tal Afar has been under the control of ISIL since 2014 when vast territories in Northern Iraq fell into the hands of the militant group. Following the liberation of Mosul in July, Abadi vowed to soon dislodge the ISIL militants in Tal Afar, Hawija and other areas.

Local media previously reported that preparations for the Tal Afar assault are underway with the US-led coalition special forces now setting up a military base near the city. The Iraqi officials have confirmed that 50% of the facility is now ready.

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