12 Russians, Kazakhs liberated from Tal Afar with help of Kurdish security
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Six Russian nationals and six Kazakhstan nationals were rescued from the Islamic State (IS)-held town of Tal Afar on Wednesday during a special raid according to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.
In a post on his official Instagram page, Kadyrov revealed on Thursday that the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) and law enforcement agencies were involved in “another stage of a large-scale humanitarian operation to rescue citizens of Russia and the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] member-countries.”
“Twelve people were released in Tal Afar and taken to a safe place,” the post read, adding that information regarding the humanitarian mission would be limited “to ensure the safety of children and the participants,” who took part in the operation.
It is unclear why the Russian and Kazakh nationals were in Tal Afar and how long they were held there.
Kadyrov also noted that the rescued individuals were being detained in the Kurdistan Region but that the two government were working “quickly to solve this problem.”
The Chechen leader highlighted the cooperation between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Russian Federation, stating that the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council, Senator Ziyad Sabsabi met with the Chief of Staff to the KRG Presidency, Fuad Hussein, Kurdish Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa, and the Minister of Interior Karim Sinjari.
Sabsabi conveyed Moscow’s gratitude for the Kurdistan Region’s assistance in rescuing the Russian nationals.
Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake the Turkmen-majority town of Tal Afar from IS militants on Aug. 20. Thousands of civilians remain trapped in the group's last remaining stronghold in northern Iraq, along with roughly 1,000 jihadists.