Tal Afar, September 3: Iraqi fighters have reclaimed the entire province of strategic Tal Afar after defeating Islamic State militants in a 12-day battle. But, during the high intense war between Iraqi troops and Islamic State terrorist group damage and loss of lives occurred massively. Notably, Iraqi troops killed over 2,000 Islamic State (IS) militants, more than 50 suicide bombers while 115 security men were martyred.
Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah from the Joint Operations Command (JOC) of Iraq while talking to media on Saturday said that Iraqi forces killed over 2,000 Islamic State (IS) militants and more than 50 suicide bombers during a major offensive to free Tal Afar area in the west of Mosul.
Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yarallah said, "The IS total casualties in the blitzkrieg during the period from August 20 to 31 were more than 2,000 terrorists and over 50 suicide bombers, along with destroying and detonating of 77 car bombs, 71 booby-trapped buildings and 990 roadside bombs."
Yarallah also said that the Iraqi forces sustained 115 martyrs and 679 wounded during the 12-day battles to liberate Tal Afar and its surrounding areas, including the towns of Mahalabiyah and Ayadhiyah. "Those who take a look at this figure will realize that fierce battles took place in Tal Afar area," Yarallah said.
Yarallah further noted that the Iraqi forces evacuated a total of 40,758 people from the city of Tal Afar and surrounding areas before and during the offensive, 18,822 before August 20 and 21,936 others during the 12-day offensive. The Tal Afar area is about 3,206 sq. km, which consists of the city of Tal Afar and three towns: Zummar, which is under control of the Kurdish security forces, Mahalabiyah and Ayadhiyah, which were freed from IS militants during the offensive.
Notably, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi on Friday last week declared victory over Islamic State militants in Tal Afar and the entire province of Nineveh despite continued fighting in the small town of al-'Ayadiya. However, Tal Afar is liberated after the Mosul was freed.