U.S. says Iraqi forces ready for next battle against Islamic State extremists

A member of Federal Police walks near vehicles used for suicide car bombings made by Islamic State militants at Federal Police Headquarters after being confiscated in Mosul Iraq

On July 26, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi pledged to liberate both the city of Tal Afar and the Al-Hawija district from Daesh in the same resolute manner that the city of Mosul was liberated earlier that month.

Aydın Maruf, a Representative of the Turkmen Popular Front in Iraq, Member of the Parliament of the Regional Administration of Iraqi Kurdistan spoke to Sputnik Turkey in an interview about how the U.S. forces are preparing to participate in the liberation of Tal Afar.

IS captured Baiji, a Sunni Arab town around 200 kilometres from the capital, in June 2014 during a lightning offensive that saw the jihadist group rout security forces and grab swathes of Syria and northern Iraq.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters man a defensive line that runs roughly south of the Mosul Dam to northern Shingal.

According to information received by Sputnik from sources in the Iraqi army, the U.S. military is now stationed in vicinity of the city of Tal Afar, preparing for the upcoming battle. It is also on a major road between Mosul and the Syrian border, and was once a key IS supply route.

Mosul took a heavy toll on Iraqi forces, with as many as 1,400 troops killed and more than 7,000 wounded. The fight will involve a broad spectrum of forces, including the Iraqi Army, counterterrorism troops, police and a group of mainly Shiite, Iranian-backed militias.

Iraq's official military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul told reporters in Baghdad on Friday the fight will start "in the next few days".

But he said Iraqi government forces would be "ready enough" when they began their campaign against Tal Afar.

"We have information about the presence of foreigners within Daesh ranks in Tal Afar, but we do not know their identity", Asadi pointed out. "But for the Iraqi security force member or policeman or infantry man or special forces soldier who's attacking, it won't be easier".



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