ERBIL — The US-led coalition has welcomed the beginning of Tel Afar operation by the Iraqi armed forces on Monday, reiterating support to the troops fighting the Islamic State (IS) on the ground.
“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 [IS],” said US Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the US and Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.
The Coalition said in a statement that their forces will continue to help the government and security forces to liberate the Iraqi people and defeat IS through five means: “by providing equipment, training, intelligence, precision fires and combat advice”.
The US-led coalition estimates that approximately 10,000-50,000 civilians remain in and around Tel Afar.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said after announcing the launch of Tel Afar operation on Monday that the IS insurgents remaining in the city have a choice only between “surrender or die”.