US-backed Iraqi forces have launched a multi-pronged assault to retake the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul from Islamic State forces.

In a televised speech early on Sunday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on the militants to “surrender or die.”

By early afternoon, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, who commands the operation, said the forces had recaptured a series of villages east, southwest and northwest of town.

The U.S.-led coalition providing air and other support to the troops praised what it said was a “capable, formidable, and increasingly professional force.”

The coalition said in a statement that they are well prepared to deliver another defeat to IS in Tal Afar, like in Mosul.


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