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ISIS captures northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar

Sunni militants reportedly captured the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar on Monday, although the government asserted it still largely controls the city.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   June 16, 2014 at 4:19 PM

BAGHDAD, June 16 (UPI) -- The northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, home to both Sunni and Shia, was reportedly captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Monday.

Tal Afar, located between Mosul and the Syrian border, was considered strategically important to the Iraqi government because it offered an outpost within the otherwise Sunni-controlled Ninevah governorate, which ISIS seized last week.

On Sunday, militants shelled Tal Afar with eyewitnesses describing militants roaming the city of 200,000 people in pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns and flying the black jihadist flag.

The government of Iraq claims Tal Afar is not totally in ISIS control, and that the government still has the upper hand.

The Iraqi defense ministry said Monday that it has "regained the initiative" since the Sunni Islamists launched their lightening offensive a week earlier.

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