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Iraq's Abadi Declares Victory Over IS In Tal Afar, Nineveh Province


IRAQ -- Smoke billows from the village of al-Ayadieh, near Qubuq, north of Tal Afar, as Iraqi forces advance during the ongoing operation to retake the area from the Islamic State (IS) group, August 28, 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has declared victory over the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in the northern town of Tal Afar and the entire province of Nineveh.

Abadi said on August 31 that Iraqi troops supported by counterterrorism units and Shi’ite militia "fully liberated" the district of Al-Ayadia, where the IS fighters had fled to from Tal Afar last week.

With Tal Afar liberated, Abadi said, all of Nineveh Province is now under control of Iraq’s security forces.

"The victory has been completed as all of Nineveh Province is now controlled by our heroic forces," he said.

Iraqi forces launched an offensive to retake Tal Afar on August 20, after having driven the IS group from the city of Mosul – some 60 kilometers east of Tal Afar -- following a nine-month campaign.

IS militants still control the northern town of Hawija in Kirkuk Province and areas in the western province of Anbar near Syria.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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