Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) The Kurdish Peshmerga troops arrested 200 Islamic State militants, who were hiding among the displaced civilians in northwest of Tal Afar, a commander said.
Iraqi troops launched attack against Aiyadhiya region, which resulted in fierce clashes against IS militants, Lt. Gen. Serdar Birwari, a commander in Duhuk, told Shafaq News.
The clashes, according to Birwari, forced around 2,000 civilians to flee Aiyadhiya, arriving at Zimar axis in Sahl al-Maleh village, where Peshmerga troops are deployed.
While checking identities of the fleeing civilians, around 200 IS militants were found out to be hiding among the displaced, Birwari said.
Earlier on Monday, the pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces, along with the army forces, managed to take over “Ayyadiya farms” and “Mohaled al-Khalaf” farmlands, east and south of the region where Iraqi commanders say the remaining militants are besieged.
Up to 2000 Islamic State fighters are believed to remain in Tal Afar, Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, the JOC’s spokesperson, said in remarks last week.
Last week, Minister Jassem al-Jaff said around 10,000 civilians were displaced from Tal Afar town in two weeks after Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi announced in a televised speech on August 20 the beginning of offensive to recapture Tal Afar, which has been held by the militants since 2014, when the extremist group first emerged to proclaim its self-styled ‘caliphate’. This came after 40 days of declaring victory in Mosul, the group’s former capital, where operations lasted between October to July.
The United Nations says more than 30.000 were displaced as operations launched for the enclave.