US defense secretary in Iraq as troops battle for Tal Afar
24 August, 2017, 02:10
Aid agencies are warning that thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped in the Islamic State-controlled city of Tal Afar face great danger as they try to flee amid the government's battle to retake the city.
Iraqi forces had encircled the city despite what Hashed spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi called "intense" fighting.
"The fighting's tough, but the momentum was with our partners and the Iraqi security forces and in the Syrian Democratic Forces", he said.
Brett McGurk, US special envoy to the coalition, said that while the battle for Tal Afar would be hard, Iraqi forces had retaken 235 square km (90 miles) in the first 24 hours.
But Heras said Mattis, whom he said has earned firm trust among Iraqis, needs to help Abadi further build his base as a moderate for the post-war period, with elections looming for next year.
Mattis spoke alongside Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top US commander in Iraq, who is to finish his tour of duty in early September.
A key issue is a plan for an independence referendum on September 25 in Iraqi Kurdistan, where Mattis later Tuesday met the autonomous region's president Massud Barzani.
Iraqi troops backed by a US-led global coalition routed IS in Mosul in July after a gruelling nine-month fight for Iraq's second city.
The terrorists, he said, "have been shown to be unable to stand up to our team in combat and they have not retaken one inch of ground that they've lost".
Mattis cited the progress in Iraq and the USA -backed operation in Syria to retake Raqqah, Islamic State's self-declared capital in that country.
Croft said that over the past two or three months, he had seen a fracturing in Islamic State leadership.
USA special operations forces are helping direct airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Tall Afar.
Iraqi forces had "fought like the dickens in Mosul, (it) cost them over 6,000 wounded, somewhere over 1,200 killed", he said. He predicted the battle for Tall Afar, which is just one-tenth the size of Mosul, will take about four months.
The battle for Tal Afar would be hard, United States officials said. Federal Police together with the Rapid Response Force and the Hashd al-Shaabi are closing in on Mullah Jasim village, considered the largest in the area. There are also militia fighters under the umbrella of the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces advancing toward the city.
"As we get into the urban areas as we saw in Mosul and Raqqa that's where we'll see the pace slow down, that's where (IS) have placed their defenses", he said. Those remaining are threatened with death by the militants, who have held a tight grip there since 2014.
"We are now only 2 kilometers away from Tal Afar".
Asked about concerns that US airstrikes had caused civilian casualties, Mattis replied that "no military in the world's history has paid more attention to limiting civilian casualties". "But we are the good guys, and the innocent people on the battlefield know the difference".
The magnetorheological damping system (SCM-E) has been updated too, for better dynamic ability and improved ride quality. Finally, the novelty became the first ever representative of the range GT, which received the electronic power steering.
The club from Baku following the debut in the Europa League is preparing for the premiere to start in the Champions League. Real Madrid are favourites to retain the trophy for an unprecedented third successive season with odds of 9/2.
CNN came after The Daily Caller this morning for a piece about Barron Trump, alleging that TheDC has too much time on their hands. Clinton responded with the following tweet in which she called for the media to stop bashing the 11-year-old child.
It didn't take long before another report said that Samsung might not be making a smart speaker after all . He told the news network that "I am already working on it" and the company will soon announce it.
The US Treasury has slapped Russian Federation with a fresh round of sanctions over alleged dealings with North Korea. They included a Namibia-based subsidiary of a Chinese company and a North Korean entity operating in Namibia.
Kevin Owens is looking for a referee and when he refuses to let Breezango referee his match, he is approached by Baron Corbin . Fish and O'Reilly had attacked new NXT Tag Team Champions SAnitY and former champs The Authors of Pain earlier in the night.
Also, as documented on his Snapchat, Wade was recently in Miami teaching his kid how to drive (in a flippin' Ferrari, by the way). Wherever he lands, it will mark the end of a homecoming that neither Wade nor the Bulls expected to end this way.
Schooling, blowing hard after his race, said he was feeling the pace halfway through the meet, with three gold medals in the bag. Victory secured his second gold medal of the Games after winning the men's taijijian event on Sunday (August 20).
The Congress said in the past three years, 28 accidents had taken place, leaving 259 people dead and 973 injured. Earlier, Prabhu met the Prime Minister "taking full responsibility" for the state of affairs of Railways .
As it turns out, millions of people were looking for the flawless track to score Monday's (Aug 21, USA time ) total solar eclipse. The performance was able to coincide with the total eclipse, as the ship was reportedly positioned in the path of totality.
Taylor Swift Announced New Album "Reputation"
The Hollywood Reporter noted that she was "wearing a red dress, red earrings and bright red lips" to match the album name. The album title and coinciding snake videos all point to Taylor unleashing hell on earth on November 10.