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The Latest: Iraq says victory over IS in Tal Afar is near

Posted August 26

— The Latest on developments in Iraq (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

The Iraqi military says it's driven Islamic State militants out of more than 90 percent of Tal Afar, a town west of Mosul.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool said Saturday that Iraqi forces have retaken the town center. Iraqi officials often declare areas to be liberated while some fighting continues.

Rasool says the full liberation of the town will be announced by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The U.S.-led coalition is providing air strikes and other support to Iraqi forces.

Last month, Iraq declared victory over IS in Mosul, the country's second largest city, after a grueling nine-month campaign. The Tal Afar operation began Sunday, and is aimed at driving IS from one of the last major pockets it controls in Iraq.

Tal Afar is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Syria's border and among the last IS-held towns in Iraq.


2:25 p.m.

Iraq's foreign minister says Iraqi military forces have taken 70 percent of the Islamic State holdout town of Tal Afar.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari made the announcement at a news conference with his French counterpart on Saturday.

It comes a day after Iraqi military officials said forces had fought their way into the center of the town with help from the U.S.-led coalition.

Tal Afar is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Syria's border and it's among the last IS-held towns in Iraq.


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