Iraqi Army Announces Full Liberation of Tal Afar from Islamic State

Iraqi Army Announces Full Liberation of Tal Afar from Islamic State

 Iraqi forces took full control of Tal Afar, Islamic State's stronghold in northwestern Iraq after a week-long offensive, the Iraqi War Media Cell announced on Sunday (August 27).

Officials and military commanders said on Saturday (August 26) that Iraqi forces have dislodged the Islamic State (ISIS) from 70 percent of Tal Afa, including its central citadel neighborhood.

The offensive on Tal Afar, which lies on the supply route between Syria and the former ISIS stronghold of Mosul, started on Sunday (August 20).

The elite Counter Terrorism Service "liberated the citadel neighborhood… and raised the Iraqi flag on top of the citadel building," a statement from the Iraqi joint operations command said.

Much of the Ottoman-era citadel itself was destroyed by the militants at the end of 2014.

Tal Afar, which had a pre-war population of about 200,000, is the latest objective in the U.S.-backed war on ISIS following the recapture of Mosul after a nine-month campaign that left much of the city, the biggest in northern Iraq, in ruins.