Iraqi army, allies liberate 90% of Tal Afar from Daesh

Press TV – A high-ranking Iraqi military figure says army soldiers, backed by allied fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, have liberated most of Tal Afar as they recaptured more neighborhoods in their multi-pronged operation to dislodge Daesh Takfiri terrorists from the northern city.

The spokesman for Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC), Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, announced in a statement on Saturday that government forces and volunteer fighters, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, were now in control of 90 percent of the city, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul, Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network reported.

He added that only a few neighborhoods in Tal Afar were still being controlled by Daesh.

The commander of the Tal Afar liberation operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, also said soldiers from the army’s 9th Armored Division and fighters from the 2nd and 11th brigades of Hashd al-Sha’abi had reclaimed full control over al-Muthanna al-Oula neighborhood in Tal Afar, and hoisted the Iraqi flag over several buildings there.

Smoke rises during clashes between joint troops of the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Sha’abi) against Daesh terrorists in Tal Afar, Iraq, on August 26, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Earlier in the day, members of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) liberated the neighborhood of al-Qal’a and Tal Afar Citadel in the center of the city and raised the Iraqi flags over a number of buildings in the area.

The elite forces also freed Orchards area in southern Tal Afar.

Additionally, Iraqi army soldiers and Hashd Sha’abi forces recaptured al-Urouba al-Thaniyah neighborhood and nearby Bowari area.

The soldiers and allied fighters also freed al-Salam and Hassan Koi neighborhoods in central Tal Afar.

Separately, Iraqi army troops liberated eight villages in the southeast of Tal Afar.

Khaled al-Obaidi, the head of Nineveh provincial department of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement, told al-Ghad Press news agency that 10,000 people had fled Tal Afar to refugee camps south of Mosul.

Obaidi added that most of Tal Afar residents had fled towards Turkey, noting that many districts in the city had been deserted.