The Iraqi army has retaken several more villages from Daesh terrorists outside the town of Tal Afar west of Mosul, according to an Iraqi military source.
"Soldiers of the Iraqi Army's 15th Infantry Division have liberated the villages of Tel Khima Minor, Musheiqra al-Uliya, Musheiqra al-Sufla, Abu Kaddur, Al-Baghla and Al-Buwair," Iraqi army officer Jabbar Hassan told Anadolu Agency.
"The operation is aimed at stepping up pressure on armed militants in Tal Afar -- and limiting their movement outside it -- in advance of a fresh push on the town center," Hassan said.
Daesh captured the predominantly Turkmen town of Tal Afar in mid-2014, forcing thousands of local residents to flee their homes.
On Tuesday, Iraqi forces also announced the recapture of a strategic part of Daesh-held western Mosul’s Old City district.
The Iraqi military remains engaged in a wide-ranging campaign -- launched last October in coordination with a U.S.-led air coalition -- to recapture the entire city of Mosul, Daesh’s last remaining stronghold in northern Iraq.
*Reporting by Ali Jawad and Amir al-Saadi; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg