Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

Middle East

Iraq starts bombing Tal Afar in bid to reclaim town from Islamic State group

© Mohamed El-Shahed, AFP | Iraqi government forces drive down a road leading to Tal Afar on June 9, 2017, during ongoing battles to retake the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters.

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-08-15

Iraqi warplanes carried out air strikes Tuesday against Islamic State group positions in Tal Afar in preparation for a ground assault to retake the town near the Syrian border, the military said.

Tal Afar is the main remaining IS group stronghold in northern Iraq, after the capture by Iraqi forces in July of second city Mosul further east in a major blow to the jihadists.

"Preparations are under way pending instructions from the commander in chief (Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi)" for the launch of the assault, said a spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operation Command (JOC).

The spokesman, Yahiya Rassul, said that although the main offensive to retake Tal Afar had not yet begun, the air force was pounding jihadist positions in the town.

'It means the end of the Caliphate'

Plans to retake Tal Afar were announced on Monday by federal police chief Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat, who said "armoured and elite units" were headed for the town.

The units, whose number has not been specified, were "regrouping in combat positions in preparation for the next battle," he said in a statement.

Joining them is the Hashed al-Shaabi, a Shiite-dominated coalition of paramilitary units deployed since 2014 to halt the jihadist advance.

"Hashed al-Shaabi commanders met Saturday with army and police commanders to decide on the plan to free Tal Afar," spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi said.

Abadi is expected to announce the launch of the ground assault but there are no indications on when it is due to start.

IS jihadists overran Tal Afar in June 2014, when it had a population of around 200,000.

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-08-15

  • IRAQ

    Iraqi PM celebrates victory over Islamic State group in 'liberated' Mosul

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Exclusive: bombs, booby traps hamper Mosul mop-up operations

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Exclusive: Iraqi forces hunt for IS group sleeper cells in Mosul

    Read more

COMMENT(S)