Iraqi Army sweeps through Tal Afar pocket, multiple villages liberated from ISIS
After officially restarting the Tal Afar offensive this morning, the Iraqi Armed Forces – backed by Kataib Hezbollah and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – sent thousands of troops and hundreds of armored vehicles into battle, thereby quickly brushing aside any jihadist resistance.
According to an Al-Masdar News source on the ground, the Iraqi Army imposed full control over the villages of Tall Al-Saban and Al-Abra Al-Saghiyrah around noon, thus advancing towards the western gates of Tal Afar city.
In the same time, the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division advanced on another axis in western Nineveh, capturing a handful of checkpoints near the ISIS-held towns of Al-Saad, Al-Zahraa and Al-Wahdaa.
Next up, the Iraqi armored contingents hope to envelop the town of Qarah Tabah in a move that would secure a launching pad for the coming assault on the main Islamic State stronghold, the predominately Turkmen city of Tal Afar.
Al-Masdar News first predicted the Tal Afar offensive on July 21 earlier this year; however, the political game in Baghdad has postponed the campaign several times, thus prolonging the elimination of the long-standing ISIS pocket.
Tal Afar was encircled in late 2016 but has not remained a priority until now due to the 9-month battle for Mosul, Nineveh’s provincial capital.
Amaq Agency also released three bulletins covering the region this morning, effectively reaffirming the renewed clashes. At least one ISIS car bomb has been used, to no avail, thus far.