Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday declared full liberation of the city of Tal Afar and surrounding areas from the Islamic State (IS) terror organisation.
“Tal Afar has been liberated and the Iraqi flag has risen again by the hands of the heroic Iraqi fighters of the Army, the Federal Police, the Counter-Terrorism Service, the Hashd Shaabi, the Rapid Response and the people of Tal Afar,” Abadi was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
“During the past days, the Iraqi forces have eliminated and crushed IS militants in Ayadhiyah and other areas and did not allow them to escape,” Abadi said.
“The joy of victory has been completed and the entire province of Nineveh has come in the hands of our heroic forces,” he said.
The PM also vowed to defeat IS group all over Iraq, saying “wherever you (IS militants) are, we are coming for liberation, and you have no choice but to die or surrender”.
On August 20, Abadi, also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, declared the start of an operation to dislodge IS militants from Tal Afar area, including Ayadhiyah, which is the last IS redoubt in the province of Nineveh.