IraqMiddle East

Tal Afar center recaptured from Daesh: Iraqi forces


Iraqi armed forces say they have managed to retake the center of Tal Afar from Daesh Takfiri terrorists as their battle to liberate the northern city enters a final stage.

“Units of the Counter-Terrorism Service liberated the Citadel and Basatin districts and raised the Iraqi flag on top of the citadel,” Commander of Tal Afar Liberation Operation Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah said in a statement.

The announcement came hours after Iraq’s Foreign said security forces had liberated 70 percent of Tal Afar from the control of Daesh.

“God willing the remaining part will be liberated soon,” Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a press conference with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and French Defense Minister Florence Parly, in Baghdad.

Tal Afar is one of the last remaining Daesh strongholds in Iraq. The United Nations estimates that some 30,000 people remain trapped inside the city.

Fighters from the Hashed al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization units) advance inside al-Nour neighbourhood in eastern Tal Afar, after the government announced the beginning of an operation to retake it from Daesh, on August 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

On August 20, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the commencement of a major offensive to retake the city of Tal Afar, near Mosul.

Mosul used to serve as Daesh’s last urban base in Iraq before its liberation in July.

Daesh unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in Iraq in 2014, seizing Mosul and declaring it as its so-called “capital” in the Middle Eastern country.

Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters have been leading a major operation to rid the country of the Takfiri elements. The Iraqi forces fully liberated Mosul last month.

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