Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi forces reached Tuesday the center of Tal Afar as operations heighten to retake the group’s last bastion in Nineveh province.
The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said army troops, backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces, invaded the center of Tal Afar from the eastern direction and continue their advances.
Earlier on Tuesday, Badr Organization’s brigades, a component of the Popular Mobilization Forces, said through their media they took over Tarmi neighborhood, northwest of the enclave, in a joint effort with the government’s Federal Police forces.
The media service said troops circumvented a concrete barricade erected by the militants around the area, and seized several medium arms and rockets during their advance.
The WMC had also said army forces recaptured Teshtiya and Tal al-Samn villages, as well as al-Kasak oil refinery east of Tal Afar.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared early Sunday the launch of operations to recapture the enclave where military commanders believe up to 2000 fighters are bunkered.
Over the past two days, Iraqi field commanders reported remarkable victories, saying government and paramilitary troops continue to advance towards the center of the town.
Also on Tuesday, Altaghier.TV quoted a source at the Iraqi army’s 16th division’s artillery forces saying that U.S. artillery began bombarding Islamic State locations in Tal Afar as part of the Iraqi campaign. The bombardment launched from the military base recently erected by the U.S. forces in Kahriz, near Tal Afar. It targeted IS defenses in al-Nour, al-Sarai, al-Nasr and al-Jazirah regions in the south.