Military leaders are confident of recapturing one of the last remaining Islamic State strongholds in the country, but humanitarian groups fear for civilians

Iraqi forces have pushed into the outskirts of one of the last Islamic State-held areas in the country – the north-western city of Tal Afar.

The operation comes just over a month after Mosul was retaken from the terror group, ending a three-year rule over Iraq’s second city and confining the extremists to ever-shrinking pockets of the country, stretching to the Syrian border.

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