SOUTHWEST ASIA – "The Global Coalition against ISIS welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi's statement earlier this morning announcing the launch of the offensive to liberate Tal Afar and the remainder of Ninewah province and northern Iraq from the clutches of Da'esh" said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.
All branches of the Iraqi Security Forces will take part in the liberation of Tal Afar - the 9th, 15th and 16th Iraqi Army Divisions, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Federal Police and Emergency Response Division, Iraqi Local Police as well as Popular Mobilization Forces under the command of Prime Minister al-Abadi.
Following their historic victory in Mosul, the ISF have proven themselves a capable, formidable, and increasingly professional force, and they are well prepared to deliver another defeat to ISIS in Tal Afar.
The Coalition will continue to help the Government and Security Forces to liberate the Iraqi people and defeat ISIS through five means - by providing equipment, training, intelligence, precision fires and combat advice.
"Mosul was a decisive victory for the Iraqi Security Forces, but it did not mark the end of ISIS in Iraq, or its worldwide threat. The ISF's operation to liberate Tal Afar is another important fight that must be won to ensure the country and its citizens are finally free of ISIS," said Townsend. "The Coalition is strong, and fully committed to supporting our Iraqi partners until ISIS is defeated and the Iraqi people are free."
The Coalition estimates that approximately 10,000-50,000 civilians remain in and around Tal Afar. The Coalition applies rigorous standards to its targeting process and takes extraordinary efforts to protect non-combatants. In accordance with the laws of armed conflict and in support of its partnered forces who are risking their lives every day in the fight against an evil enemy, the
Coalition will continue to strike valid military targets, after considering the principles of military necessity, humanity, proportionality, and distinction.