Iraqi forces launch operation to cut Mosul off from Syria

Kurdish peshmarga forces

MOSUL (AFP) – Iraqi paramilitary forces launched an operation Saturday to retake Tal Afar from the Islamic State group, opening a new front in the nearly two-week-old offensive to recapture jihadist-held Mosul.

Forces from the Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary umbrella organisation dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias, have largely been on the sidelines since the launch of the Mosul operation.

And the western approach to Mosul, a route on which Tal Afar is located, is the only one where ground forces, which have advanced on the city from the north, east and south, are not yet deployed.

Iraqi paramilitary forces launched an operation Saturday to retake Tal Afar from the Islamic State group, opening a new front in the nearly two-week-old offensive to recapture jihadist-held Mosul.

Forces from the Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary umbrella organisation dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias, have largely been on the sidelines since the launch of the Mosul operation.

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