Hashd Shaabi fighters launch operation west of Mosul
Volunteer fighters from Iraq’s al-Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units, have begun an offensive against the Takfiri Daesh terrorists west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
“The operation aims to cut supplies between Mosul and Raqqah (in Syria) and tighten the siege [against Daesh] in Mosul and liberate [the town of] Tal Afar,” Ahmad al-Assadi, a spokesman for the forces said Saturday.
Mosul, which fell to Daesh in 2014, has been declared by the terrorist group as its so-called headquarters in Iraq. The terrorists also consider the city of Raqqah as their “headquarters” in Syria.
A large-scale military offensive has been launched to retake Mosul by the Iraqi army, volunteer Shia and Sunni fighters, and Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
The western part of Mosul had been left open to Daesh, potentially enabling the terrorist group’s members to move to neighboring Syria as Iraqi and Kurdish forces close in from the north, east and south.
Iraqi sources had earlier reported that the terrorists were leaving the Mosul in droves and heading to Syria.
Now with the start of operations by al-Hashd al-Shaabi in western Mosul, the city has come under a full siege.
Iraqi security forces have been edging closer to Mosul by liberating villages around the city. Nearly 80 Daesh-held towns and villages have been retaken by the army since the Iraqi forces began the battle to liberate Mosul last week.