Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Tal Afar and the entire northern province of Nineveh have been liberated from the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) Takfiri terrorist group.
“Tal Afar has been liberated. We say to the Daesh fighters: wherever you are, we are coming for you and you have no choice but to surrender or die,” Abadi said in a statement released on Thursday.
The premier further said the liberation of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of the Iraqi army, Federal Police, counterterrorism units, Popular Mobilization Forces (also known as Hashd al-Shaabi), and Rapid Response Forces.
“Our happiness is complete, victory has arrived and the province of Nineveh is now entirely in the hands of our forces,” he added.
Abadi also emphasized that Baghdad is resolved to free all Iraqi territory and keep up its firm stance against terrorists who pose a threat to the entire region.
On Sunday, Iraqi forces drove Daesh terrorists from the northwestern city of Tal Afar, clearing one of the Takfiri group’s few remaining strongholds in the country.
The recapture came just one week into the battle for Tal Afar, which once served as a way station between the terrorist group’s de facto capitals Mosul and Raqqah.
Tal Afar, which had a pre-war population of about 200,000, was the latest objective in the war on Daesh following the recapture of Mosul after a nine-month campaign that left much of the city, the biggest in northern Iraq, in ruins.