Iraqi forces make fresh gains in Tal Afar offensive

Author: ReutersThu, 2017-08-24 18:48ID: 1503597679671782200IRBIL: Iraqi forces made further gains in their offensive to dislodge Daesh from Tal Afar, seizing five more villages on the eastern and southern outskirts of the city, the military said on Thursday.
In the fifth day of their onslaught, Iraqi forces continued to encircle terrorists holding out in the city in far northwestern Iraq close to the Syrian border, according to statements from the Iraqi joint operations command.
Within the city limits, Iraqi forces captured three more neighborhoods — Al-Nour and Al-Mo’allameen in the east and Al-Wahda in the west, taking over several strategic buildings in the process.
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. On Tuesday, the army and counter-terrorism units broke into Tal Afar from the east and south.
The main forces taking part in the offensive are the Iraqi army, air force, Federal Police, the elite US-trained Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) and some units from the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) that began encircling the city on Sunday.
About three quarters of Tal Afar remains under militant control including the Ottoman-era citadel at its center, according to an operational map published by the Iraqi military.Sailors’ bodies recovered
The bodies of 20 Iraqi sailors have been recovered after their ship sank following a collision off the country’s southern coast, the Transport Ministry said.
The Al-Misbar sank in Iraqi waters on Saturday following the collision with a foreign-flagged vessel, after which eight sailors were rescued and the bodies of four others found.
The ministry said in a statement that 16 more bodies were found when the ship was raised on Thursday.
Iraqi authorities have ordered the foreign vessel impounded following the collision, which took place in the Khor Abdullah maritime canal between Iraq and Kuwait.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Tal AfarIraqi forcesIrbilrelated_nodes: Iraqi forces recapture several districts of Tal AfarIraqi forces close in on Daesh-held Tal Afar

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