Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi troops have retaken five villages in Tal Afar town, located northwest of Iraq, from Islamic State, Tal Afar Operations Command announced on Monday.
In a statement by the Joint Operations Command and the War Media Cell, Lt.Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah said the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service managed to free Tal Rihal, Jabbara, Hussein Idris, al-Mulla and al-Majeed villages, southwest of the town, before raising the Iraqi flag there.
Earlier on the day, Iraqi troops announced liberating villages of Toumi, Majarin, Mulla Jassim and Abret Aziz.
“Troops cut off al-Kask road in Mahlabiya direction,” Yarallah said.
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’.
More than 1400 Islamic State militants with Arab and foreign nationalities are estimated to be in Tal Afar town Brig.Gen. Yehia Rasool, the military spokesperson, said in remarks.
Tal Afar is one of the important strongholds still held by IS in Nineveh since August 2014, when the militants occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”.