Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi joint forces have advanced by three kilometers from the southern direction toward Tal Afar town, the paramilitary troops announced.
In a statement on Sunday, the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said troops “advanced by three kilometers from the southern direction toward Tal Afar and gained control on four hills that overlook the town from the same direction.”
“These hills include Tal Zinbar, west of the town, which was freed by security troops along with the 26th brigade,” the statement added.
Moreover, the service added that “army jets launched airstrikes that destroyed four booby-trapped vehicles driven by suicide bombers, who were trying to attack the troops to hinder their advance toward the western direction of the town.”
A statement by the Federal Police Command said troops, backed by army jets, gained control on al-Abra al-Sagheera region and are advancing toward al-Saad, al-Zahraa and al-Wihda regions.
Earlier on the day, a local source from Nineveh said that two of the Islamic State’s defense lines in Tal Afar were destroyed by the airstrikes.
“Two IS advanced defense lines were destroyed hours before the offensive to liberate the town was launched,” the source told AlSumaria News on condition of anonymity.
“Huge losses were inflicted on the enemy,” he added.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced in a televised speech on Sunday the beginning of offensive to recapture the town, which has been held by the militants since 2014, when the extremist group first emerged to proclaim its self-styled ‘caliphate’.