Iraqi forces make major advancement in Tal Afar
Iraqi government forces broke through Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) lines inside Tal Afar on Aug. 25, and reached the old city center and the neighborhood around the Ottoman-era citadel, according to a military statement.
On the sixth day of the offensive, Iraqi elite units seized the northern city's neighborhoods of Nida' and Taliaa, according to a statement from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.
Tal Afar lies along the supply route between Syria and the former ISIL stronghold of Mosul. It has produced some of the militant group's commanders.
The battle to oust the jihadists from one of their last strongholds in Iraq is proceeding more quickly than expected.
On a dirt road covered with stones and obstacles left by retreating ISIL militants, armoured vehicles of the Iraqi police and Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary units bounce along between the ruts.
“Victory could come just a few days from now. Maybe even before Eid al-Adha,” Hashd officer Abu Ahmad al-Haddi said.