Turkey welcomes Tal Afar’s liberation by Iraqi forces, urges swift rebuilding

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 31.08.2017 22:27
A member of the Iraqi forces poses for a photo holding his national flag as they advance towards the village of al-Ayadieh, north of Tal Afar, during the ongoing operation to retake the area from the Daesh group on Aug. 28, 2017. (AFP Photo)
A member of the Iraqi forces poses for a photo holding his national flag as they advance towards the village of al-Ayadieh, north of Tal Afar, during the ongoing operation to retake the area from the Daesh group on Aug. 28, 2017. (AFP Photo)

Turkey will continue to stand with the people of Tal Afar in the post-Daesh period just as it helped and harbored tens of thousands people that escaped there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Thursday, welcoming the liberation of the predominantly Turkmen town by Iraqi forces from the terrorist group.

"Hereby we assert that we share the pain of the people of Tal Afar, one of the biggest victims of atrocities in Iraq committed by Daesh, which also target our country in brutal terror attacks," the statement said.

The ministry stated that it is of great importance in the upcoming period to bring the perpetrators of Daesh cruelty in Tal Afar before justice to give them the necessary punishments and transfer the control of the town to the people of Tal Afar and the legitimate Iraqi forces instead of militia groups acting in their own agenda, referring to the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF - Hashd al-Shaabi) militia.

Eliminating negativities that prepared the ground for Daesh and other radical groups and immediately returning stability to Tal Afar while rebuilding the town were also underlined in the statement, which once again reiterated that Turkey is ready provide all kinds of contributions to the Iraqi government and the people of the town.

Tal Afar -- located some 60 kilometers east of the Syrian and 80 kilometers south of Turkish borders -- was overrun by the terrorist group in mid-2014, along with vast territories in northern and western Iraq, including the country's second largest city Mosul.

The city was strategically important for Daesh since it controlled the road between its territories in Syria and urban areas in northern and central Iraq.

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