Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) The pro-government paramilitary troops along with security forces have resumed advance in several directions in Tal Afar town, the last Islamic State bastion in Nineveh province.
Statements by the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said joint troops invaded al-Tenek district, east of the town and started invasion on al-Jazeera district, in the northeast.
“Troops of the 26th and 25th brigades of the army invaded al-Tenek district and controlled the medical center there,” the service said. “PMUs along with security troops managed to pass the first defense line of al-Jazeera district. Fierce battles are currently ongoing there.”
Earlier today, “the 26th brigade, backed by army jets, resumed its advance in al-Khadraa district, in south of Tal Afar.”
Another statement said troops “targeted IS locations, west of Mahlabiya, ahead of invasion.”
“The 17th brigade fired rockets against IS locations including a leadership center in Mahlabiya, located east of Tal Afar,” it said adding that the enemy was directly targeted.
“The 53rd brigade, along with Federal Police and Rapid Response troops liberated wide regions of al-Kifah al-Shamali, northwest of Tal Afar,” according to the media service.
Iraqi troops resume their advance operations after Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi announced on Sunday in a televised speech 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, where operations lasted between October to July.
More than 1400 Islamic State militants with Arab and foreign nationalities are estimated to be in the town, according to military commanders.