In a televised speech announcing the offensive overnight, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the jihadists had the choice between "surrender or die".
Speaking at a youth meeting on July 29, Abadi said Hashd al-Sha'abi fighters would take part in the offensive to win back Tal Afar.
It is now surrounded by Iraqi government troops, Shiite volunteers as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the north, with an estimated 2,000 fighters still holed up in the city.
Around 2,000 IS militants are holed up in the city and with no escape they are expected to put up stiff resistance to the Iraqi forces' advance.
Meanwhile, Commander of Tal Afar Liberation Operation Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah stated that security forces have recaptured the villages of Batisha, al-Alam, Khafajah, Upper Halabiya, and Marazif east of Tal Afar, and the villages of Qazal Qiyu and Kasr Mihrab southwest of the city.
The jihadist group seized Tel Afar when it took control of vast areas in northern and western Iraq in mid-2014. Even before Abadi's announcement, Iraqi planes had dropped leaflets to residents in Tal Afar and its surroundings, the Hashed said in a statement.
At the time there were around 200,000 in the town, but the number left in Tal Afar is not known. The offensive unites U.S-backed Iraqi forces with Iran-supported.
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While Tal Afar town is smaller than Mosul, it is believed there are around 1,000 ISIS militants and they would give a tough battle to the forces, Washington Post reported.
Residents who left Tal Afar last week said the militants looked exhausted.
"Intelligence gathered shows clearly that the remaining fighters are mainly foreign and Arab nationals with their families and that means they will fight until the last breath,"Colonel Kareem al-Lami, from the Iraqi army's 9th Division, told Reuters earlier this week".
"Their faces looked desperate and broken".
All these forces were backed by the Iraqi Air Force and the US-led global coalition.
An estimated 50,000 people have fled the areas surrounding Tal Afar since April, and at least 50,000 more could flee in the coming days and weeks, according to aid groups.