Iraqi army regains control of Diyala province and Nineveh’s Tal Afar
Iraq’s army has regained full control over towns in Diyala province that Takfiri militants had overrun a few days ago, Al-Alam reports.
This comes as Iraqi security forces continue to fight the militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by launching counter-offensives in the city of al-Muqdadiyah.
The Iraqi army has driven the al-Qaeda-linked militants from the towns of Diyalah, the province’s police chief said.
The commander also added that Iraqi army troops are gaining more grounds in several towns of nearby Salahuddin Province.
This is while thousands of Iraqi Shiites have heeded a call from their most revered spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to take up arms against militants who have captured large areas of territory north of Baghdad.
Shiite volunteers queued at the Federal Police Command headquarters in Baghdad on Thursday clutching enrolment papers in a bid to join Iraq’s military in the fight against the al-Qaida-inspired ISIL.
Over the past days, Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to several Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad.
Iraqi army retakes most parts of Nineveh’s Tal Afar
Iraqi armed forces have reportedly regained control of almost all parts of a strategic town in Nineveh Province as well as the Abu Tayban region in the central city of Ramadi.
According to reports, Iraqi army soldiers managed to recapture most parts of the town of Tal Afar in Nineveh from the Takfiri terrorists amid raging violence in some parts of the Arab state.
On June 16, conflicting reports said that the militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had overrun Tal Afar. A day later, Iraqi security sources rejected the media reports that the town had fallen to the terrorists.
The strategic town sits on a main highway linking the Nineveh Province to Syria.
The new gains come as Iraqi forces are gearing up to enter the city of Mosul in Nineveh after reestablishing control over Baiji oil refinery in the strategic Salahuddin Province.
Meanwhile, fierce fighting is reportedly underway between Iraqi troops and the militants in the city of Baqubah, the provincial capital of Iraq’s Diyala Province.
On June 10, the ISIL militants took control of the Nineveh provincial capital Mosul, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people have been forced out of their homes since the militant attacks started in the Arab country.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has vowed that the country’s security forces would confront the foreign-sponsored terrorists, describing the seizure of Mosul as a “conspiracy.”