Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi forces and paramilitary troops killed 25 Islamic State militants and foiled a drone attack as they gained more ground in Tal Afar, the group’s last entrenchment in Nineveh province.
The pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces’ media service said troops fully recaptured the districts of al-Kefah in the northwest and al-Nour in the southeast of the town.
Aljournal News website said the Interior Ministry’s Rapid Response Forces killed 15 IS members and detonated 12 explosive devices planted by the group in al-Kefah and Mulla Jassem regions, southwest of the town.
PMF media also said in a statement they killed ten militants in al-Khadraa district in the southeast, and detonated a booby-trapped vehicle driven by a suicide bomber before he attacked troops in the area.
Anadolu Agency also quoted Cap. Qusai al-Zawbai, from the Iraqi army, saying troops shot down a drone guided by the militants and supplied with two rockets before it attacked forces in the southern axis of operations.
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.
Iraqi military media said earlier on Tuesday that troops invaded the center of the town from the east.
The Iraqi government plans to wage further offensives at other IS holdouts in Anbar, Kirkuk and Salahuddin once it is done with the recapture of Tal Afar, which commanders predict to be achieved soon.