Members of Iraqi Federal Police carry their weapon at the frontline during a battle with Islamic State militants in western Mosul, Iraq June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) The pro-government paramilitary troops, along with Federal Police, advanced by 19 kilometers toward west of Tal Afar town, the last Islamic State’s bastion in Nineveh province.
In a statement on Monday, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, chief of Federal Police, said “troops along with al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Units] deployed in Tal al-Housan village, west of Tal Afar, advanced by 19 kilometers in west of the town.”
“Troops approached IS defenses in the residential areas,” Jawdat added. “The artillery destroyed an ammunition and weapon stash in al-Kifah district, west of Tal Afar.”
Earlier on the day, Jawdat said twenty IS militants were killed as troops advanced through regions in west of Tal Afar and gained control on the militant group’s tunnel network that stretches along 250 kilometers and was used for training.
Iraqi troops resumed their advance on the second day of operations to liberate Tal Afar town, after Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi announced on Sunday in a televised speech the beginning of offensive to recapture the town, one of the important strongholds still held by IS in Nineveh, 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.