BREAKING: 20,000 Soldiers Just Deployed

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Dean James AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS

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Tal Afar, IRAQ — The pro-government Popular Mobilization Forces will field 20,000 fighters for the anticipated offensive to retake the town of Tal Afar, Islamic State’s last bastion in the Nineveh province, a spokesperson said.

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PMF spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi said Friday that 20,000 fighters will take part in the imminent battle, saying that the recapture of the enclave “will not take more than weeks”.

Tal Afar is 40 miles west of Mosul, and is home to a mixed Turkmen and Arab population. Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, early July after more than eight months of U.S.-backed offensives, Iraqi News reports.

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and his defense officials have marked Tal Afar as their next target of anti-Islamic State action. Iraqi defense officials said recently that warplanes were carrying out raids on the enclave in preparation for the ground invasion which is yet to be scheduled.

Conflicting statements have been frequent regarding the participation of the Shia-led, government-recognized mobilization forces in the liberation of Tal Afar, a town of a mixed Shia Arab and Sunni Turkmen population. Sunni Turkey has pressed Baghdad to exclude the PMFs from the anticipated campaign fearing that the militias would commit genocides against residents from opposing sects. The increasing engagement of PMFs in the battles against ISIS militants had also drawn opposition from Saudi officials.

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Yesterday AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS reported that at least twelve ISIS militants died Thursday when an underground tunnel they were using collapsed in the town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh, a paramilitary leader said.

Speaking to Alsumaria News, Jabbar al-Maamouri, a commander at the Popular Mobilization Forces, said the militants scurried to the tunnel escaping an air strike. “The strike hit the tunnel’s opening, killing all inside, according to the information we have,” Maamouri stated.

The militants raised alert among members to extract the buried corpses, and did manage to the some out, he said, adding that the group had escalated the digging of tunnels which had usually been used as escape routes or for assaulting security forces.

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Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, early July after more than eight months of U.S.-backed offensives.

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and his defense officials have marked Tal Afar as their next target of anti-Islamic State action. Iraqi defense officials said recently that warplanes were carrying out raids on the enclave in preparation for the ground invasion which is yet to be scheduled.

Tal Afar has reportedly seen divisions among Islamic State leaderships, with occasional news telling of power conflicts and dissents among leaders, as well as attempts by some militants to flee the anticipated battle field.

Since Iraqi forces launched a wide-scale campaign to retake Mosul in 2016, paramilitary troops managed to isolate the town from the Syrian borders and from the rest of Nineveh.

Dean James AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS

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