Iraqi forces have started a large scale operation to wrest control of Tal Afar from the ISIS, Rudaw reported.
"The operation began yesterday. Around 18 villages in Tal Afar have already been liberated as announced by the commanders of federal government forces," the Chief of Staff for the Peshmerga Ministry Jabar Yawar said.
According to Fahd Abdullah Taai, an officer in the Iraqi army, nearly 100 tanks and armored vehicles full of soldiers have been stationed near the Badush area, 40 kilometers from Tal Afar, as part of ramped up preparations to liberate the predominantly Turkmen town from ISIS.
The Iraqi army, the federal police and the US-trained Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), totaling almost 40,000 soldiers will be carrying out the offensive.
Although the Iraqi general predicts the operation will be difficult, Peshmerga Ministry’s Yawar is more optimistic. He believes “that in a short period of time, Tal Afar will be taken, because there is no supply line for ISIS in the region and Tal Afar has been under siege for a long time by the Hashd al-Shaabi forces, more than five months."