Iraq News

Police promise new tactics in Tal Afar battle

By Khalid al-Taie


Iraqi federal police officers display shells belonging to the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' they found in Mosul in a photo posted online on August 4th. [Photo from the Iraqi Federal Police command’s Facebook page]

Iraq's federal police on Tuesday (August 8th) revealed they plan to surprise the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) with new combat tactics during the upcoming battle to liberate the Ninawa province city of Tal Afar.

"We completed today the training of select units from our force's 5th and 3rd divisions, as well as the Sniper Brigade and other combat units," federal police spokesman Col. Abdul Rahman al-Khazali told Diyaruna.

These units have undergone "three weeks of military training in modern combat methods", al-Khazali said, without disclosing further details regarding the size of the units or the type of training they received.

He merely stressed that the Iraqi forces "will surprise the enemy with new combat tactics that are different from those used to liberate Mosul".

The military's joint command has devised a comprehensive plan to retake Tal Afar, he said, adding that the federal police "will participate with the other forces to complete the liberation of Ninawa province and eradicate ISIS".

The police forces are currently carrying out "major missions in their area of responsibility, stretching from the western side of Mosul to al-Qayyarah district in the south of the city", he said.

"We are working to hold the territory, keep the order, bring back internally displaced persons (IDPs), and clear areas of the terrorists’ remnants," he added.

A month of progress

Over the past month, the police forces were able to arrest 47 terrorists who had hidden among displaced families and fled with them during the battle for the Old City, al-Khazali said.

Security operations also have led to "the discovery of 184 explosive belts in militant hideouts in [Mosul], four explosive-making workshops and three car bombs, as well as the defusing of 20 booby-trapped houses", he said.

"We also have seized large quantities of weapons and various projectiles during the inspections, a total of 2,170, including mortars, rocket launchers and a communications system," al-Khazali added.

Also seized were "10 tonnes of ammonium nitrate and five C-4 barrels, hazardous materials involved in the manufacturing of high impact improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines with a chemical effect", he said.

Since July 7th, police forces have conducted security inspections in 1,614 houses and buildings, al-Khazali said.

The federal police are continuing their efforts "to provide a safe environment for the population of Mosul and not allow any terrorist activity to resume", he said.

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