MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Iraqi armed forces retook more than 50 percent of the city of Tal Afar, held by the militants of the Islamic State (Daesh), local media reported Thursday citing the Nineveh province council.
"Tal Afar is one of the largest regions in Iraq, and the liberation efforts are proceeding faster than expected. Military forces have completed the recapture of all surrounding villages and reached the outskirts of the town’s center from the east and the west," a member of the council, Abdul-Rahman Wakkaa, said, as quoted by the Iraqi News media outlet.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi army spokesman Yahya Rasul said that the Iraqi army has killed over 300 militants of the Daesh group and liberated 31 districts of the city of Tal Afar since the start of the operation to regain control over the city.
On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the beginning of the military offensive aimed at retaking Tal Afar, which is located 30 miles away from recently liberated Mosul. Tal Afar is the last major stronghold of the Daesh militants on the border of Iraq with Syria.