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BBCI: IS conflict: Iraq army makes advances on Tal Afar

BBCI: IS conflict: Iraq army makes advances on Tal Afar

Iraqi security forces battling the Islamic State (IS) militant group on Tuesday broke into the first neighbourhood west of the IS-held city of Tal Afar, the military said.

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, who commands the operation, says in a statement on Tuesday that the special forces troops on Tuesday entered the al-Kifah neighborhood on the southwest edge of town.

The US-trained Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), Federal Police, the Rapid Response Force, Iraqi Army, and Hashd al-Shaabi are taking part in the operation with the backing of the coalition.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of a ground offensive to retake Daesh-held Tal Afar in a televised speech early on Sunday.

"My message to (IS): you (have) no option, you either surrender or die", Mr al-Abad declared in the TV address.

Tal Afar is one of the last ISIS strongholds in Iraq, after their de facto capital Mosul was seized by Iraqi forces in July.

An estimated 10,000 to 50,000 civilians are believed to still be living under ISIS control in Tal Afar and the surrounding areas, according to coalition figures.

Since Friday, more than 3,000 people had arrived at two IOM emergency sites, many with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, the United Nations agency said.




Mattis said pockets of resistance remained in west Mosul, including sleeper cells, and attention would be turned after they were cleared.

Trump has given Mattis authority to send about 4,000 more troops, adding to 8,400 USA forces already deployed to Afghanistan.

Trump said he won't provide a "blank check" for US support to the Afghan government, but added he didn't want to be hemmed in by timelines.

On conditions inside the city, she said: "Food and water are running out, and people lack the basic necessities to survive".

"We have won all our battles, and Daesh have always lost", he said, wearing black military fatigues and using an Arabic name for the group.

A day earlier, Iraqi government forces had managed to retake five villages near Tal Afar.

Iraqi forces have not given a specific timetable for the liberation of Tal Afar but noted that the city's layout, which is more open and much smaller than Mosul, could speed up the process.

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