Military preparing to announce end of Tal Afar battle, turning to Hawija

Islamic State militants.

Tal Afar ( Iraqi military media said Wednesday the command was preparing to declare the end of operations against the Islamic State in Tal Afar, and the approach of the battle for the group’s Kirkuk holdout.

The War Media Cell said the command was preparing to declare the end of operations in Tal Afar, the militants’ last haven west of Nineveh, and the approach of the launch of offensives for Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.

Earlier on Wednesday, air force officer Saad al-Waseti told Shafaq News that Iraqi warplanes killed eleven IS “war emirs” during a gathering near a cemetery in Ayyadiya,  northwest of Tal Afar, the last area where IS members have been besieged by Iraqi forces.

 Federal Police service chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, had also said his troops continued advances towards the center of Ayyadiya, and recaptured 50 percent of the region.

Troops invaded Ayyadiya on Tuesday after field commanders said they had taken full control over Tal Afar’s districts.

The government declared the launch of Tal Afar operations on August 20th. Iraqi military commanders have reported daily advances and retaking of Islamic State-held territories since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the launch of offensives.

Past operations by the pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) had managed, until the end of June, to isolate Tal Afar from the Syrian borders and from the rest of Nineveh.

The United Nations says more than 30.000 were displaced as operations launched for the enclave.


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