Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi troops have managed to liberate 94 percent of Tal Afar town, the last bastion of Islamic State in Nineveh province, recapturing 27 out of a total of 29 districts there.
A statement by the Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell quoted Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah, commander of Tal Afar Operations as saying that “1155 out of a total of 1655 square kilometers were liberated, which means that only 500 square kilometers are remaining, and that 70 percent of the total area is freed.”
The remaining regions are Olouw and al-Rahma villages, in addition to al-Aiyadhiya region and villages in its vicinity, he added.
“The city has been liberated. Only al-Askari and al-Sina’ah al-Shamaliyah districts are still held by the group,” the statement said. “27 out of a total of 29 districts have been freed, which is 94 percent of the total number of districts.”
Earlier on Saturday, Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, spokesperson of the Joint Operations Command, said joint troops managed to control 60 percent of the battlefield and 90 percent of the center of Tal Afar.
Joint troops of army, Federal Police, Counter-Terrorism Forces and PMFs liberated many districts and villages, and raised the Iraqi flag there.
Operations continue on the seventh day after Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi announced in a televised speech last week the beginning of offensive to recapture Tal Afar, which has been held by the militants since 2014, when the extremist group first emerged to proclaim its self-styled ‘caliphate’. This came after 40 days of declaring victory in Mosul, the group’s former capital, where operations lasted between October to July.