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    Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) gather with Iraqi army on the outskirts of Tal Afar, Iraq, August 22, 2017

    Run, Daesh, Run! Iraqi Militia Just 2 kilometers Away From Tal Afar Stronghold

    © REUTERS / Stringer
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    Iraqi Shia militia units, known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), or Hashd al-Shaabi, are only 2 kilometers away from Tal Afar, a strategically important city a little over 60 kilometers to the west of Mosul, one of the last large strongholds controlled by Daesh, a PMU unit commander told Sputnik Turkiye.

    "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.

    Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) with Iraqi army are seen on the outskirts of Tal afar, Iraq, August 20, 2017
    © REUTERS / Stringer
    Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) with Iraqi army are seen on the outskirts of Tal afar, Iraq, August 20, 2017

    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.

    Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) launch a rocket towards Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Tal Afar, Iraq, August 22, 2017
    © REUTERS / Stringer
    Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) launch a rocket towards Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Tal Afar, Iraq, August 22, 2017

    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.

    The broadcaster also reported that a security source, requesting anonymity, told Arabic-language Alsumaria television network that Daesh had ordered its elements in Tal Afar to burn all fortifications of the terror group there and move to other places.

    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.

    Tags:
    liberation, military operation, Popular Mobilization Units, Daesh, Hashd al-Shaabi, Iraqi Army, Tal Afar, Iraq
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