Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi forces, have retaken Tal Afar airport located to the west of Mosul from its Daeshi occupants.
"The airport of Tal Afar has been liberated," said spokesman for the group, Yusif al-Kallabi, on state TV Wednesday.
The airport’s liberation is a major development in the campaign launched to retake the strategic city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorists. Tal Afar is located some 60 kilometers west of Mosul and lies on the main road to Syria. Its capture effectively cuts the Takfiris' supply line from Syria.
"Tal Afar will be the starting block for the liberation of all the area... to the Syrian border and beyond the Syria border," said PMU Commander Hadi al-Amiri.
The PMU has announced that the airport will be used as a base to launch attacks against Daesh terrorists in Syria.
Forces from the Popular Mobilization Units are part of vast operations launched on October 17 by the Iraqi army, Shia and Sunni volunteer fighters as well as Kurdish Peshmerga forces to retake Mosul, the last stronghold of Daesh in Iraq.
Iraqi forces 4 km from central Mosul
Meanwhile, the commander of Iraq’s anti-terrorism forces, Major General Abdel Wahab al-Saadi, has announced that his troops are within four kilometers from Mosul’s center and are now controlling the Hayy al-Bakr area, which was a main Daesh stronghold before its recapture.
He also noted that dozens of terrorists were killed and large amounts of their weapons and booby-trapped vehicles were destroyed in the operations to retake the area.
Also on Wednesday, troops from the Iraqi army’s 9th Armored Brigade were continuing with their advances toward southeast of Mosul. They have reached Hayy al-Salam, and have announced that they will continue until they reach the 4th bridge on the west bank of the Euphrates.