Peshmerga receive IDPs fleeing Tal Afar

The IDPs will be transferred to temporary shelters.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – As the Iraqi military’s campaign to retake areas under Islamic State (IS) control in northern Tal Afar continues, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arrive at Peshmerga front lines in search of safety. 

On Monday, heavy clashes were reported between Iraqi forces and IS extremists in the town of Ayadhiya, 15 kilometers north of the recently retaken Tal Afar district.

Due to the clashes, many families fled the conflict zones in Ayadhiya and surrounding areas toward the Peshmerga front lines. 

Colonel Jamal Saado, a Peshmerga Commander, told Kurdistan 24 Peshmerga forces, in coordination with the Asayish (security) forces, formed a committee to receive the fleeing IDPs from Ayadhiya, Tal Afar, and surrounding areas. 

“A school near the Peshmerga-controlled area has been allocated as a temporary shelter for the new IDPs until they are moved to IDP camps,” the Peshmerga commander said.

On Sunday, the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) announced it had received 1,500 displaced people from the city of Tal Afar and surrounding areas.

Iraqi forces have regained control of almost all of Tal Afar, located 60 kilometers west of Mosul, and the liberation of Ayadhiya would signal the end of IS in the city.

“The offensive started from two fronts in a bid to distract [IS] fighters,” army Lieutenant Colonel Salah Kareem told Reuters.

“Our intelligence shows that the most diehard [IS] fighters fled Tal Afar to Ayadhiya,” he added.

“They have nothing to lose…they will fight to the last breath,” the military official noted.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Tal Afar operations, Abdul Amir Rashid Yaarallah, said the militant group’s presence was nearing its end very soon.

“The Federal Police, rapid response units, and the 9th Armored Division stormed the Ayadhiya area where the last of the terrorist cells remain in the province of Nineveh,” he said in a statement.

The US-led coalition is supporting the progress of Iraqi troops with air strikes as they advance on the ground to defeat the extremist group.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany