Iraqi officials say more than 500 foreign women affiliated with the Daesh terrorist group are being held in a prison near Mosul. An investigations officer says 531 non-Iraqi women were separated from a larger group of women and children detainees because of their close ties to Daesh and "are being investigated" until further instructions come from Baghdad. Earlier this week, Iraqi forces revealed they are holding hundreds of Daesh families in a camp near the town of Tal Afar west of Mosul, the most recent territory retaken from the militant group. Officials said the foreign woman and children being held in that camp would likely be repatriated to their home countries. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Iraq declared that its forces retook the northern city of Tal Afar and the surrounding region in another major victory over the Daesh terrorist group. Tal Afar and the surrounding area was one of the last pockets of Daesh-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in July in Mosul. The town, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the Syrian border, sits along a major road that was once a key Daesh supply route.
Iraqi forces dislodged Daesh from their last stronghold in Mosul in July, once Iraq's second largest city in terms of population. Mosul fell to the Daesh terrorist group in 2014 when its militants blitzed across much of northwestern Iraq and subsequently declared a caliphate on the territory held by extremists in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake Mosul last October and by late January, the eastern half of the city - which is roughly divided by the Tigris into a western and eastern section - was declared liberated. The push into western Mosul began the following month and in June, Iraqi forces started the weeks-long push through the Old City, Mosul's most congested district.
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