Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government troops have taken control of a half of Islamic State’s last held area near Tal Afar, where operations near victory in the militant’s remaining haven in Nineveh.
Federal Police service chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said his troops had continued advances towards the center of Ayyadiya, a region northwest of Tal Afar, where commanders say they besieged the remaining militants after they had lost the enclave.
Police have deployed snipers and other backup troops above the buildings of the region’s buildings, and was intensifying its bombardment of the group’s locations.
“The militants are relying on explosive devices and remote shooting to hinder the troops,” Jawdat said in the statement.
Troops invaded Ayyadiya on Tuesday after field commander said they had taken full control over Tal Afar’s districts.
Earlier on Tuesday Abdul-Amir Yarallah, the Joint Operations Command’s field leader, said army troops took over Quolabash village, 60 kilometers to the west of Ayyadiya.
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.
Military commanders said Sunday the town was totally recaptured, with the militants cornered at Ayyadiya in the northwest. They had estimated the total number of fighters by up to 2000, and said hours earlier that 288 had been killed since the start of the offensive.
Past operations by the 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.