DAILY MAIL, 1 September, 2017-Iraq’s victory over the Islamic State group in Tal Afar was the latest in a string of gains against the jihadist group, but Iraqi forces still face massive challenges, experts say.
In 2014, IS staged a rapid advance across northern Iraq, with police and military personnel abandoning their posts to the jihadists with barely a fight.
That allowed IS to seize nearly a third of the country’s territory including Mosul, which was fully recaptured by Iraqi forces in July, three years after IS declared its self-styled “caliphate” from a mosque in Iraq’s second city.
Today, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who took office three months after the 2014 military debacle, says the Iraqi state is back -- stronger and better organised.
On Thursday, Abadi announced the recapture of the town of Tal Afar and surrounding areas, bringing the whole of Nineveh province of which Mosul is the capital under government control.