Iraqi , US Forces Continue to Advance On ISIS Held Tal Afar

Iraqi forces advance through Tal Afar's Al Wahda district during an operation to retake the city from the ISIS group

Iraqi , US Forces Continue to Advance On ISIS Held Tal Afar

Iraqi security forces on Saturday liberated three neighbourhoods of Tal Afar city from the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

Tal Afar sits on a strategic route between IS-controlled territories in Syria and Mosul, 70 kilometres further east. Officials have said the capture of the city would make it even more hard for the jihadists to transport fighters and weapons between Iraq and Syria.

Last month, Iraq declared victory over IS in Mosul, the country's second largest city, after a grueling nine-month campaign.

Only a small area remains under ISIS control, in the north of the city, according to a map released by the Iraqi Joint Military Command.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, a military spokesman, spoke hours after Iraq's foreign minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, said that 70 per cent of the town west of Mosul had been retaken.

Army, police and units of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary coalition later took "full control" of Al-Kifah and Al-Nur districts in Tal Afar, the Hashed said.

Since Mosul fell to government troops, Tal Afar is the last IS enclave in the province. The UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported it received more than 3,000 civilians in the first days of the offensive with thousands more expected to flee.

It lies along the supply route between Syria and the former ISIL-stronghold of Mosul. It has produced some of the militant group's most senior commanders.

Between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians are estimated to remain in the city and its surrounding villages.

On Tuesday, U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said residents were arriving at refugee camps starving and with wounds from sniper fire and mine explosions.

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