A military commander says Iraqi troops have reached the first urban areas of the Islamic State-held northern town of Tal Afar.

Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, who commands the operation, says in a statement on Tuesday that the special forces troops on Tuesday entered the al-Kifah neighborhood on the southwest edge of town. Yar Allah didn't give more details.

Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil, of the Iraqi special forces, told The Associated Press that IS fighters fired rockets, sent suicide car bombers and used roadside bombs.

The operation was launched Sunday, a month after Iraq declared victory over IS in Mosul, the country's second largest city. Tal Afar, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the Syrian border, is in one of the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq.