Iraqi security forces came close to liberating the whole city of Tal Afar, from the Daesh militants on Saturday, after a week-long offensive, designed to dislodge the militants from the city and surrounding areas, the Iraqi military said.

The army’s 9th Armoured Division and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units, recaptured the neighbourhoods of al-Muthanna al-Oula and al-Muthanna al-Thaniyah in the afternoon, and raised Iraqi flags on some of their buildings, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Yarallah from the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said.

Earlier in the day, the troops recaptured another eight neighbourhoods in the city centre, including al-Qal’a and its old Tal Afar Citadel, a ruined Ottoman fortress.

The latest military push, backed by Iraqi and international aircraft, enabled security forces to almost take full control of Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul, except the small neighbourhood of al-Askari and the industrial area in the north-east of the city.

During the day, the troops also freed 14 villages, Sheikh Ibrahim Mountain and the Zambar mountain range, in the south-east and north-east of Tal Afar.

The Tal Afar area is about 3,206 square km, which consists of the city of Tal Afar and three towns: Zummar, which is under control of the Kurdish security forces, Mahalabiyah, which was freed from the militants during past few days, and Ayadhiyah, which is still under Daesh control.

The whole Tal Afar area consists of 47 villages scattered around the city and its three towns.

The majority of the population in the Tal Afar area are Sunni and Shiite Turkomans, in addition to the Kurds and other minorities

Source: NAM News Network