An Iraqi forces' armoured vehicle advances inside the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, after the Iraqi government announced the launch of the operation to retake it from Islamic State (IS) group control, on August 25, 2017. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Iraqi government forces broke through Daesh (ISIS) lines inside Tal Afar Friday, reaching the old city center and the neighborhood around the Ottoman-era citadel, according to a military statement.The Iraqi forces have seized about three-quarters of the city since the offensive started in the early hours of Aug. 20, according to the latest JOC map, published Friday evening.Tal Afar lies on the supply route between Syria and the former Daesh stronghold of Mosul, 80 kilometers to the east. Up to 2,000 battle-hardened militants remain there, according to U.S. and Iraqi military commanders. The number of civilians left in the city is between 10,000 and 20,000, according to the American military.Daesh has scattered mass graves across Iraq and Syria.
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