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Iraqi forces zero in on IS-held citadel of Tal Afar

Iraqi forces zero in on IS-held citadel of Tal Afar

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the campaign against the militant group in Tal Afar would end soon.

On August 20, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, declared the start of an operation to regain control of Tal Afar and nearby areas from IS militants.

Rasool added that their forces have killed almost 300 jihadists, but around 2,000 militants still remained in the city, according to Al Jazeera.

Iraqi forces have reclaimed a majority of the Islamic State controlled city of Tal Afar as part of a weeklong offensive.

Tal Afar sits on a strategic route between IS-controlled territories in Syria and Mosul, 70 kilometres further east. Officials have said the capture of the city would make it even more hard for the jihadists to transport fighters and weapons between Iraq and Syria.

Pliskova wins twice to reach semis, secure No. 1 spot
After rain washed out play on Thursday, Pliskova resumed her last-16 clash with Giorgi and triumphed 6-3 4-6 6-0. I knew she could stay there. "I'm used to putting so many things aside to be able to compete".


Tal Afar, which had 200,000 residents until IS captured it in a 2014 offensive, is on a strategic road that linked IS-held territories in Syria with Mosul. On Tuesday, the army and counter-terrorism units broke into Tal Afar from the east and south.

Iraqi spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool tells the Associated Press that Iraqi forces took control of several neighborhoods Friday as they advanced toward the center of town and are now at the outskirts of the neighborhood of al-Qalaa.

Iraq's state-run TV aired live footage showing pillars of smoke rising in the distance as military vehicles traveled through wide, arid areas. It was strategically significant for its location along a supply route between Mosul and Syria.

Rasool says about 10,000 civilians remain inside the city but that authorities have secured safe corridors for them.

It doesn't appear that this has involved a lot of heavy fighting so far, despite Iraqi officials claiming a large ISIS force remains in the city.


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