Iraqi forces retake three districts of IS bastion


TAL ABTA, Iraq: Iraqi forces on Tuesday recaptured from the Islamic State group the first three districts of jihadist bastion Tal Afar as the Pentagon chief visited Baghdad in a show of support. The United Nations said thousands of civilians had fled Tal Afar in the two days since the start of the broad offensive backed by the US-led coalition fighting IS, but tens of thousands are trapped. After meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the jihadists were “on the run.” “Cities have been liberated, people freed from ISIS, from Daesh,” Mattis said, using alternative names for IS. The jihadists had not been able “to stand up to our team in combat, and they have not retaken one inch of ground that they lost”, he said. Iraqi troops backed by a US-led international coalition routed IS in Mosul in July after a grueling nine-month fight for Iraq’s second city.



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