"We are now only 2 kilometers away from Tal Afar. There is fierce fighting in the area, Daesh terrorists are experiencing serious losses," Ali Ebu Tahir, a PMU unit commander, told Sputnik.
"We were able to capture several Daesh militants. Due to the obtained information, there are about 1,400-1,500 Daesh terrorists in the city. We intend to liberate Tal Afar from Daesh within one month," he added.
Ali Ebu Tahir further elaborated that the operation to liberate Tal Afar from Daesh had been launched several days ago. About 40,000 Iraqi servicemen and Hashd al-Shaabi fighters are taking part in the operation.
Turkey and the US, he said, have been strongly against the participation of the Popular Mobilization Units in the operation, however it "did not take any effect."
Earlier in the day, reports said that federal police forces and PMU fighters had retaken the northern and southern al-Kifah neighborhoods in the city.
The commander of the Tal Afar liberation operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, announced in a statement that government forces and their allies raised the national Iraqi flag over several buildings in the liberated areas after the operations, according to Iranian Press TV broadcaster.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command stated that members of the Counter-Terrorism Service had established full control over the villages of Mulla Jassim and Wairan on the outskirts of Tal Afar.
Separately, soldiers from the 9th Armored Division of the army and the 2nd, 11th and 26th brigades of Hashd al-Shaabi have seized back al-Tanak district east of Tel Afar from Daesh extremists.
Tal Afar is a strategically important city, as it is located 63 kilometers to the west of Mosul and 52 km to the east of Sinjar; it is not far from the border with Syria.
The city has been under Daesh control since mid-2014, when the terrorists captured the town. Before the seizure, it was home to 750,000 people.