Iraqi military launches offensive against ISIS stronghold

US builds military base in Iraq for Tal Afar offensive
US builds military base in Iraq for Tal Afar offensive
Author

21 August, 2017

The town and its nearby oil refinery, Iraq's largest, were recaptured in late 2015 with air support from a US-led coalition and a host of tribal groups and militias.

It will be the first test of Iraq's military, particularly the elite US -trained Counterterrorism Service, after it took significant losses during the battle for Mosul. The city was captured in 2014 by IS forces.

Some parts, including small towns and mountain areas, remain under Islamic State control, especially along the border.

Tal Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul, is the last IS redoubt in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh.

Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate all but collapsed last month when US -backed Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul after a brutal nine-month campaign.

More news: Smokers more likely to quit when cigarette prices increase

Wednesday, Kurdish Peshmerga troops arrested 30 IS militants who officials said attempted to escape Tal Afar - which was once the home of 200,000 people - by traveling through Peshmerga-held territory. They are expected to put up a tough fight, even though intelligence from inside the city indicates they have been exhausted by months of combat, aerial bombardments, and by the lack of fresh supplies.

The coalition statement added that "following their historic victory in Mosul, the [Iraqi security forces] have proven themselves a capable, formidable, and increasingly professional force, and they are well prepared to deliver another defeat to ISIS in Tall Afar".

Commander of Federal Police Forces Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat said on Sunday that security forces, backed by members of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) and fighters from pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), have reclaimed Abra al-Najjar, Abra Hanish, Greater Abra and Lesser Abra, Arabic-language Baghdad Today news website reported.

Tal Afar is a town located in around 43 miles west of Mosul which was the center of all activities of ISIS, according to reports.

The U.S. -led coalition said over the past days it had carried out dozens of air strikes on Tal Afar, targeting weapons depots and command centres, in preparation for the ground assault.


More news


  • With smaller gloves, McGregor sees quick win over Mayweather

    With smaller gloves, McGregor sees quick win over Mayweather

    And for Floyd, Floyd fought most of his career at 147lbs (welterweight) and used eight ounce gloves. A big change has been announced for the hyped Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor megafight.

    Central Intelligence Agency reportedly admits North Korean nukes are good enough reach United States cities

    As Trump tweeted last week: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely". North Korea's July 4 launch. "And he is still somewhat of an unknown to us, and unpredictable", Mullen said.
    Local spots to watch the Perseid's meteor shower this weekend

    Local spots to watch the Perseid's meteor shower this weekend

    At Babcock State Park, naturalist Abby Rice will provide meteor-spotting guidance during a Perseid Party that starts at 8:30 p.m. The moon, which will be three-quarters full at the time of the peak, will rise around 11 p.m.
  • Korean leader urges N. Korea, US to resolve ongoing stalemate peacefully

    China's official China Daily said such an investigation would poison the relationship between the two countries. North Korea, Dunford said, will be a big topic of discussion when he meets with leaders in all three countries.
    McMaster Repeatedly Refuses to Say if He Can Work With Bannon

    McMaster Repeatedly Refuses to Say if He Can Work With Bannon

    Scaramucci is still a supporter of Trump's, saying that the president "can be a tough coach at times" but "this guy's a victor ". Trump fired Scaramucci, a wealthy NY financier, on July 31, just days after naming him as communications director.
    Dolphins' Tannehill out for season

    Dolphins' Tannehill out for season

    As with Cutler, Tannehill had enjoyed his best season under the tutelage of Gase, who was hired by Miami previous year . Miami is now banking heavily on Jay Cutler , who was lured out of retirement with a one-year, $10-million contract.
  • Donald Trump responds to Barcelona attack with reviving 'Internet rumor'

    Donald Trump responds to Barcelona attack with reviving 'Internet rumor'

    Pershing, the World War I-era general, is not based on historical evidence and appears to have been spread by chain emails. President Donald Trump is condemning what Spanish authorities say is a deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona .
    Barnaby Joyce might be a Kiwi

    Barnaby Joyce might be a Kiwi

    Australia's opposition has mocked Ms Bishop's claims, accusing her of a "Kiwis under the bed scare campaign". He told Parliament on Monday that he has received a legal advice that he hasn't breached any rules.
    Was Paul Manafort Flipped by the Russia Probe Special Counsel?

    Was Paul Manafort Flipped by the Russia Probe Special Counsel?

    Manafort has emerged as a central figure in several US investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Brown, a former associate White House counsel during the George W.
  • Utkal Express derailment: ATS will probe terror angle in train mishap

    Utkal Express derailment: ATS will probe terror angle in train mishap

    He said the railways has instituted an enquiry to be conducted by the Commissioner, Railway Safety , Northern Circle. The railways also provides compensation under the Railway Act, 1989 to passengers who are victims of accidents.
    Tropical Depression Could Form Within The Next 48 Hours

    Tropical Depression Could Form Within The Next 48 Hours

    Invest 92L could gradually strengthen as it moves to the west-northwest over the next few days. All three tropical disturbances now have a 40 percent chance of development over five days.
    Sharapova is given wild card for US Open

    Sharapova is given wild card for US Open

    The USTA announced on Tuesday that Sharapova would get a wild card into the US Open , which begins in two weeks. There will be no such barrier in NY ; she'll slide straight into the main draw.