The battle for Tal Afar, the last major population centre in northern Iraq still controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group, has sparked fears for thousands of civilians trapped inside.
The Iraqi army said on Tuesday that it had entered the city and retaken two districts so far.
The Tal Afar offensive, which was launched at dawn on Sunday, came only weeks after Iraqi forces retook the city of Mosul from the jihadist group, which also faces assaults on its positions in neighbouring Syria.
Capturing Tal Afar, a major supply hub between Mosul and Syria, would deal another decisive blow to the IS group’s self-declared “caliphate”.
UN humanitarian workers have called for urgent measures to help the 10,000 to 50,000 civilians estimated to be in and around the city, which is reportedly running out of food and water. Up to 40,000 people have already fled the fighting.
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Date created : 2017-08-22