ISIS Arrests 20,000 Tal Afar Citizens for Human Shield: Iraqi Official

ISIS Arrests 20,000 Tal Afar Citizens for Human Shield: Iraqi Official
Sun Nov 6, 2016 19:01:03

Deputy Chief of the Nineveh Provincial Council Noureddin Qablan announced that the ISIS terrorist group has arrested thousands of civilians in Tal Afar city to use them as human shield.

"A sum of 20,000 citizens of Tal Afar, especially Abata Hill (Tal Abata) and Mahlabieh districts, have been detained by the ISIS terrorist group to be used as human shields," Qablan said.

He noted that the ISIS also forced hundreds of families of Tal Afar city to leave their homes and move to al-Ba'aj region and the Syrian territories.

"The intelligence obtained from the ISIS terrorists in Tal Afar confirms that most of the ISIS terrorists of Tal Afar are foreigners and only some of them are Iraqis," Qablan added.

On Friday, the Iraqi popular forces said that they have thus far liberated over 45 villages West of Mosul as they continue their offensive against ISIS's positions towards the town of Tal Afar.

Mohammad al-Basri, one of the field commanders of Iraqi popular forces told FNA that over 45 villages have been liberated and the volunteer forces have captured over 350 sq/km of territories West of Mosul towards Tal Afar.

"Based on the previously agreed plan between Baghdad and Damascus, the ISIS terrorists fleeing Mosul can be pursued in Syria," he further added.

"The large population in some villages has slowed down our forces' operation. ISIS is using civilians as human shield in Mosul and other regions."

He called on Mosul's civilians to leave the city via the security corridors established by Iraqi security forces.

The Iraqi Federal police command confirmed on Thursday that its forces liberated 10 villages South of Mosul as they continued their operation to capture the Northern city from ISIS militants.

“The outcome of the military operations conducted by the federal police troops in the Southern flanks of Mosul, has included the liberation of Al-Mincar, Bazonah,  Poglawin, Kharrar, Ain Shalhoub, Al-Kusbah, Al-Khafsan, Al-Qahira, Munira and Nazazah villages South of Hamam al-Alil district,” Federal Police Commander Gen. Raed Shakir Jawdat said, Badr News reported.

The operation to retake Mosul from the ISIS has been ongoing since October 17. More than 30,000 Iraqi and 4,000 Kurdish fighters are taking part in the offensive, backed by about 5,000 US troops and supported by US-led coalition airstrikes. Mosul has been occupied by the ISIS since 2014.

The Iraqi push to drive terrorists out of their main stronghold has recently met with fierce resistance. The Iraqi armed forces are receiving air support from a US-led international coalition, which reportedly killed further 149 ISIS members earlier this week; FNA reported.

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