Iraqi forces recapture large portion of Tal Afar center from 'Islamic State'

Posted August 27, 2017

Iraqi government forces broke through ISIL lines inside Tal Afar on Friday and reached the old city centre and the neighbourhood around the Ottoman-era citadel, the military said.

During their continued advance into Tal Afar, the Hashd forces discovered a "large prison" in the northern part of the city, containing the bodies of 18 people, the statement added.

The number of civilians believed to have remained in Tal Afar at the start of the offensive was estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000 by the US military.

A predominantly Turkmen district، Tal Afar was overrun by the notorious terrorist group in mid-2014، along with vast territories in northern and western Iraq.

Gen. Yahya Rasool said Saturday joint troops controlled 60 percent of the battlefield and 90 percent of the city center of Tal Afar in the northwestern Nineveh province.

Iraq's state-run TV aired live footage showing pillars of smoke rising in the distance as military vehicles traveled through wide, arid areas.

U.S. Army soldiers stands next to a a guided-missile launcher, a few miles from the frontline, in the village of Abu Ghaddur, east of Tal Afar, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. The UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported it received more than 3,000 civilians in the first days of the offensive with thousands more expected to flee.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari made the announcement at a news conference with his French counterpart on Saturday. The district has produced some of the armed group's most senior commanders.

On Tuesday, U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said residents were arriving at refugee camps starving and with wounds from sniper fire and mine explosions.