Islamic State

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces keep up grinding battle against Islamic State

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces keep up grinding battle against Islamic State

The Iraqi army, backed by U.S. airstrikes and special operations commandos, punched through an outer ring of Islamic State defenses Tuesday in a 3-day-old push to reclaim Tall Afar, the militants’ last major stronghold in northern Iraq.

Fighting in oven-like temperatures, Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles stormed across the desert and Iraqi special forces moving in from the northeast breached a thick city wall, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

U.S. commanders say the offensive against the estimated 2,500 militants in and around Tall Afar will be grinding because Islamic State fighters built extensive defenses. Among them: They lined up derelict vehicles to push invading forces...

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