Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 9


The Tal Afar battle has shifted from the town itself to the Ayadiyah sub-district to the north. The Iraqi forces (ISF) encircled the area, and were facing heavy resistance from the Islamic State. An army lieutenant colonel told Reuters that many IS fighters fled Tal Afar for Ayadiyah. He believed they were trapped there due to air strikes and drones that were keeping a constant surveillance over the area. During the day the Army, Hashd and Federal Police captured one town, a fuel station, and two farms. While it looks like the insurgents are putting up a tougher fight for Ayadiyah then they did for Tal Afar they are still vastly outnumbered, and the fight could be over soon depending upon how many IS elements are there. If this is where the 1,000-2,000 IS fighters the Iraqis expected to find in Tal Afar ended up, then it could take a bit longer.


The Kurds repulsed an IS attack coming from Ayadiyah. After screening people coming out of Tal Afar the Kurds also arrested 200 fighters. The insurgents tried a similar tactic in Mosul hiding amongst the displaced when the battle was coming to an end.

Within Tal Afar the ISF were mopping up, while officials were doing damage assessment. The Iraqis were going through the orchards and farms surrounding the town where they discovered 60 IS members. The Ninewa Municipalities Department believed that Tal Afar only suffered lightly from the fighting. It was waiting for IEDs to be cleared before civil defense teams could start cleaning up. Combat was over so quickly that the town should be fixed in little time. That will allow the population to move back quickly. The question is whether that will happen. Pro-Iran Hashd have talked about protecting the town’s Shiite Turkmen, which means it may include it in their western Ninewa security zone it is creating. That has included expelling the Sunni population.

SOURCES

AIN, “Fierce battles on the outskirts of Ayadiyah northeast of Tal Afar,” 8/28/17

Baghdad Post, “Iraqi army encircles Ayadiya, Tal Afar full liberation imminent,” 8/27/17

Al Baghdadiya News, “Security forces begin combing Tal Afar orchards arresting 60 terrorists,” 8/28/17

Iraq Newspaper, “Iraqi Newspaper Reporter In Tal Afar, “The 16th Division Opened The Way West Of Ayadiyah To Allow Daash To Leave With Their Families Towards Syria,” 8/28/17

Iraqi Media Network, “Popular crowd rocket force supports the advancing forces towards the Ayadiyah area,” 8/28/17

Mostafa, Mohamed, “Tal Afar destruction too little to compare to Mosul: official,” Iraqi News, 8/28/17
- “Troops retake more areas at Islamic State’s last Tal Afar shelter,” Iraqi News, 8/28/17

New Sabah, “Tighten the ring around the last Daash pocket in Ayadiyah southwest Tal Afar,” 8/28/17

Rudaw, “Peshmerga forces kill 5 armed men from Daash and capture 12 others near Ayadiyah,” 8/28/17

Shafaaq News, “Urgent: Peshmerga announce the arrest of 200 terrorists who fled Ayadiyah with the displaced,” 8/28/17

Al-Sudani, Thaier, Omar, Kawa and Rasheed, Ahmed, “Iraqi forces face tough resistance from IS in final Tal Afar battle,” Reuters, 8/28/17

Wardana, “The army, the popular crowd and the federal police liberate the Dubai area of Tal Afar,” 8/28/17

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