Iraqi security forces have arrested more than 250 Daesh infiltrators, who had disguised themselves as civilians and slipped out of Tal Afar in the wake of a joint multi-pronged operation by government troops and allied fighters to push the Takfiri terrorists out of the northern city.
A security officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police forces extracted 272 Daesh members at a refugee camp in Hammam al-Alil district, located about 25 kilometers south of Mosul, on Sunday as they were screening the internally displaced persons there.
The officer added that the extremists will be transferred to a detention center after Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday, noting that the captured Takfiris come from Russia, the North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Afghanistan, France and Britain.
On August 31, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the city of Tal Afar and the entire Nineveh province had been purged of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
The recapture of Tal Afar was made possible with the help of Iraqi army soldiers, Federal Police Force, Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi and the Interior Ministry’s elite rapid response forces.
An Iraqi military official said on Friday that government forces, backed by Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters, are preparing to launch a major military operation aimed at liberating the town of Hawija in the oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk from Daesh terrorists anytime soon.
The unnamed official said Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) has formed a new force, dubbed Operation “We Are Coming, Hawija” to retake the town, located 45 kilometers west of the provincial capital city of Kirkuk.
He added that Iraqi army units, members of the Federal Police Force and the CTS, rapid response forces as well as Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters will participate in the battle.