Special to WorldTribune.com
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari says government forces have recaptured 70 percent of Tal Afar, a stronghold of Islami State (ISIS) militants in northwestern Iraq.
“God willing, the remaining part will be liberated soon,” Jaafari said at a news conference in Baghdad on Aug. 26.
Gen. Abdulamir Yarallah, the commander leading the offensive to retake Tal Afar, said in a statement on Aug. 26 that government troops had recaptured the city’s center and its citadel.
Iraqi troops backed by a U.S.-led international coalition dislodged IS from Mosul last month after a nine-month fight for Iraq’s second city.
They launched an offensive August 20 to recapture Tal Afar, once a key IS supply hub between Mosul — around 70 kilometers further east — and the Syrian border to the west.
ISIS fighters inside Tal Afar are estimated to number around 1,000.