>> Its taken just one week of fighting but Islamic State are on the ropes in Tal Afar. The IS stronghold has been almost entirely recaptured, according to the Iraqi military. Fighting is ongoing in Ala Adair an area just outside Tal Afar the Iraqi military said in a statement.
They want to retake the city's surrounding areas before declaring full victory. But Iraq's flag now flies in the center of the city, and facilities such as this IS weapons factory are in government hands. The Iraqi army had turned its sights on Tal Afar following victory in IS's main Iraqi stronghold, Mosul, in July.
That operation had taken nine months, the battle for Tal Afar 2,000 IS militants fighting against Iraqi forces numbering 50,000, was much quicker. That supports Iraqi military reports that IS lacks command structures in territory to the west of Mosul. Tal Afar had a pre-war population of 200,000, but tens of thousands are believed to have fled in the weeks before the battle started.
The UN's Refugee Agency reported starving Tal Afar residents arriving at its camps with wounds from sniper fire and mine explosions. Those people hopefully able to return home soon, as the Iraqi military campaign against IS moves to its next battlefront. Officials say that will be the city of Hawija, held by IS since 2014, and strategically located between Mosul and Baghdad.