Sunday, 20 August 2017

IS conflict: Iraq launches ground offensive in Tal Afar, officials say



Iraqi ground forces have begun an operation to retake Tal Afar, one of the last cities in the country held by the Islamic State group, officials say.

 
In a televised speech announcing the offensive overnight, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the jihadists had the choice between "surrender or die".


The army targeted Tal Afar after seizing Mosul, IS's main stronghold 55km (35 miles) to the east, in July.


Tal Afar, which has a mainly Shia-Muslim population, fell to IS in 2014.


It sits on a major road between Mosul and the Syrian border that was once a key supply route for the jihadist group.
Anti-IS coalition forces estimate that between 50,000 and 100,000 civilians remain in and around Tal Afar.




BBC     News.