Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Somalia twin bombings kill 18 in Mogadishu

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Arming the "good guys"?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Gun Control in the United States: Will the Florida shooting be the turning point?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Giving a voice to the homeless in France

Read more

REPORTERS

'Never Again': The students pushing for US gun control

Read more

#TECH 24

A bright future for solar power

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Winter in France's Burgundy vineyards

Read more

FOCUS

How French cyber police are patrolling the 'Dark Web'

Read more

ENCORE!

Marseille mon amour: Mediterranean city celebrates love

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2017-08-30

Battle for Tal Afar a 'decisive' moment against IS group

Speaking to FRANCE 24 from Baghdad, the spokesman for the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group, Colonel Ryan Dillon, said the fight for Tal Afar was a "decisive" battle in the war against the jihadists.

"We did not anticipate such a quick and decisive takeover of Tal Afar city," Dillon said. "We certainly went into this planning for the worst."

While Dillon said it was ultimately up to the Iraqi government to declare victory in Tal Afar, he said the offense against the Islamic State (IS) group on the ground had been "very decisive".

"All elements of the Iraqi security forces worked together – a simultaneous attack on multiple fronts and, in nine days, nearly 1,000 square kilometres of ground had been taken [that was] once held by ISIS," he said, using another acronym for the Islamic State group.

The mainly Shiite Popular Mobilisation Forces as well as Sunni fighting groups have played an important role in the battle against the IS group, Dillon said, with the IS group remaining in control of "less than a handful" of areas in Hawija and in western Anbar province.

Iraqi forces, backed by the US-led international coalition, launched an assault on Tal Afar overnight on August 19-20.

The northern Iraqi city, which was estimated to have some 200,000 inhabitants before the arrival of the jihadists, is strategic as it serves as a passageway for funneling both arms and fighters into the group's self-proclaimed "caliphate".

Click on the video player above to watch the full FRANCE 24 interview.

By Taoufik MJAIED

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2018-02-21 Africa

Opposition activist Evan Mawarire: Zimbabweans hope they can 'reset our future'

Evan Mawarire is a pastor who became a leading human rights and democracy advocate in Zimbabwe after posting videos calling on his fellow citizens to challenge the rule of Robert...

Read more

2018-02-17 Americas

Photographer Pete Souza shares his ‘portrait’ of Obama

Pete Souza was the chief official White House photographer for former president Barack Obama. He shadowed Obama for the whole eight years of his presidency and has now published...

Read more

2018-02-13 Middle East

Syria's White Helmets: 'We had 400 casualties last week'

Since their creation in 2011, the Syrian voluntary rescue workers known as the White Helmets have been credited with saving thousands of lives. And as they pull people from the...

Read more

2018-02-14 Americas

Russian interference in US elections is 'a serious threat to our democracy'

Alberto Gonzales served as US Attorney General under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, becoming the first ever Hispanic to hold the position. He gives us his take on...

Read more

2018-02-10 Africa

The devastating impact of climate change on Niger and Mali

The Azawak valley, a Florida-sized area spread over Mali and Niger, used to have the best pastoral lands in West Africa. But with climate change, people are either dying of...

Read more