Mosul (IraqiNews.com) An Iraqi army division had received orders to leave Mosul and head towards the Islamic State’s last stronghold in Nineveh preparing for anticipated operations to retake the region, a military source was quoted saying Monday.
Safwan al-Assafi, a Defense Ministry official in charge of distributing military directives, told Anadolu Agency that the supreme command ordered the 9th division to immediately hand over security responsibilities in Mosul to local and Federal Police forces, and to get ready for heading to Tal Afar, now Islamic State’s remaining holdout bin the province.
Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Jubouri, a colonel at the Joint Operations Command, revealed that intensive meetings are being held to lay down the axes of operations in Tal Afar, adding that operations are due within the next few days.
Earlier on Monday, the Defense Ministry said plans were ready for the invasion of the town.
The target area, according to Anadolu, is nearly 2400 kilometers of space, and consists of Tal Afar, Ayadiya, Mahalabiya and 47 scattered villages.
Tal Afar is 65 kilometers away from Mosul, and is home to a mixed Turkmen and Arab population. Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, early July after more than eight months of U.S.-backed offensives.