Iraqi Forces Breach Isis Defense Lines in Tal Afar Center
Iraqi forces on Friday (August 25) announced they have breached Islamic State (ISIS) defense lines in the center of Tal Afar district.
On the sixth day of their onslaught, Iraqi forces continue advancing into the ISIS-held city of Tal Afar as the forces encircled the militants inside the city.
Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces also announced the forces regained control of Mualimeen neighborhood in Tal Afar, and that they are advancing into the neighbor of Nidaan.
Over 30 neighborhoods have been liberated and more than 300 ISIS militants have been killed since operation began to dislodge the militants in Tal Afar on August 20, according to Iraqi Joint Operations Command.
The advances were the latest in the campaign to rout the militants from one of their last remaining strongholds in Iraq, three years after they seized wide swathes of the north and west in a shock offensive.
A longtime stronghold of ISIS insurgents, Tal Afar, 50 miles (80 km) west of Mosul, was cut off from the rest of the ISIS-held territory in June. The city is surrounded by Iraqi government troops and Shia volunteers in the south, and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the north.
About 2,000 battle-hardened militants remain in the city, according to U.S. and Iraqi military commanders.
They are expected to put up a tough fight, even though intelligence from inside the city indicates they have been exhausted by months of combat, aerial bombardments, and by the lack of fresh supplies.