Iraqi forces recapture last ISIL redoubt in Tal Afar
NINEVEH, Iraq - Anadolu AgencyIraqi forces have taken the Al-Ayadieh district, Islamic State, Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last stronghold in the northern city of Tal Afar, an Iraqi military source said on Aug. 31.
“The Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi forces entirely liberated Al-Ayadieh in the morning of Aug. 31 after two days of heavy fighting,” Colonel Ahmad al-Jubouri, commander of the army’s Nineveh Operations Command said.
A largely Shia fighting force, the Hashd al-Shaabi was formally incorporated into the Iraqi armed forces late last year.
Iraqi warplanes, al-Jubouri said, “are now in the process of pursuing ISIL militants fleeing into the Al-Ayadieh mountains and towards Tal Afar’s Rabia and Sinjar districts”.
The army officer did not provide any casualty numbers in regards to the fight to retake the district from ISIL.
Earlier this month, Iraqi forces -- backed by a U.S.-led coalition -- waged a 10-day campaign aimed at wresting Tal Afar from the grip of the terrorist group.
On Sunday, the Iraqi authorities announced Tal Afar’s recapture -- with the exception of Al-Ayadieh, which briefly remained Daesh’s last foothold in the city.
A predominantly Turkmen city, Tal Afar -- located some 60 kilometers east of the Syrian border -- was overrun by the terrorist group in mid-2014, along with vast territories in northern and western Iraq.