> Victory is nigh in Tal Afar, as Iraqi Prime Minster Haider al-Abadi. US backed Iraqi troops have taken most of the town, and are now battling Islamic State militants in nearby. Many have been killed in the last few days, he says. Bagdad intends to destroy the group's Iraqi branch, not contain it.
But islamic state militants with nothing left to lose are making a fierce last stand. Hundreds of battle hardened fighters fled to Halayadiyah where they are entrenched in tall buildings, raining heavy machine gun fire, sniper shots and mortars on Iraqi troops. Breaching their line of defense, was like opening the gates of hell an Iraqi officer told Reuters.
It's even worse he said than the battle for Mosul once the capital of Islamic state self declared Caliphate. Mosul fell in July but only after months of grueling warfare. Now Iraqi forces say they're waiting for artillery and airstrikes to undermine the militant's power. They must take Halayadiyah before they can declare victory in Tal Afar.