Iraq Popular Forces, Iraq Hezbollah, Hashd Al-Shaabi Kicks Off 3rd Phase of Military Operations in West of Mosul
“The main purpose of the third phase of the military operations in Western Mosul is to help Iraq’s joint military forces to take control of the remaining areas,” Hashd al-Shaabi Spokesman Ahmad al-Assadi said in a statement on Monday.
He reiterated that another objective of the fresh military campaign in Western Mosul is to cut off the terrorists’ supply routes from Mosul to Raqqa.
Al-Assadi said that the Iraqi volunteer forces plan to make further advances towards Tal Afar region after seizing back more lands to the West of Mosul city.
On Sunday, al-Assadi declared that a new stage of operations to retake the strategic city of Tal Afar in Nineveh province will start soon.
“Starting the operations to free Tal Afar is a matter of time. The third phase (of operations) to take back the city will start soon,” al-Assadi told al-Mayadeen news channel.
Elsewhere, he voiced concern about the growing number of the Turkish forces deployed in Iraq, and said Turkey’s presence in Iraq is aimed at rocking the boat in efforts to annihilate the ISIL.
Based on an agreement made earlier, the Iraqi popular forces and Peshmarga Kurdish troops will not be part of the invading forces inside the two cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, while they will help tighten and maintain the siege on the rims of the two cities. Various units of Iraq’s armed forces, including the army, police and anti-terrorism troops, will lead the assault.
In relevant remarks on Wednesday, another senior commander said complained that the Baghdad government is under much pressure by the US to delay Hashd al-Shaabi’s military advances towards Tal Afar city.
“The US is exerting pressure on the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government to prevent Hashd al-Shaabi from making further advances on the Western side of Mosul, including Tal Afar,” Hashd al-Shaabi Commander Nazzem al-Assadi said.
Yet, Al-Assadi ensured that al-Abadi would not bow to the US pressure.
He, meantime, said that the second phase of the military operations in the Western flank of the flashpoint city of Mosul will start soon following attainment of all objectives of first phase.
Al-Assadi said that Washington is trying to prevent the Iraqi volunteer forces’ advances in a bid to prevent exposure of Washington’s crimes and its supports for the Turkish government.
The Hashd al-Shaabi commander also pointed to the conditions of Tal Afar after the ISIL took control of the city, and said, “Some 150,000 Shiite families were forced to emigrate and over 2,000 citizens have been killed so far.”
He reiterated that some 80 percent of the regions on the Western side of Mosul have been recaptured so far.
Al-Assadi said that the Iraqi volunteer forces’ mission is to capture the Western flank of Mosul, “but they will not enter the city”.
Also on Tuesday, yet another senior Iraqi volunteer forces commander announced that Hashd al-Shaabi popular troops have seized back over half of the towns and villages between Mosul and the border with Syria.
“Some 60 percent of the regions on the Western side of Mosul has been recaptured,” senior Hashd al-Shaabi commander Hassan al-Sari said.
He noted that the Iraqi forces were only 20 kilometers away from Tal Afar, and said, “Hashd al-Shaabi is waiting for the Iraqi armed forces’ commander-in-chief to start the second phase of their military operation.”
Al-Sari said that Iraq’s volunteer forces have concluded the first phase of their military operations in areas on the Western side of Mosul after freeing 60 percent of the whole region and approaching Tal Afar.
He reiterated that using the civilians as human shield by the ISIL inside Tal Afar and intensified suicide attacks has prevented the start of the second phase of military operation in Western Mosul.
On October 29, the Iraqi volunteer forces started their liberation operations to seize back the Western side of Nineveh province and their goal was to take control of the city of Tal Afar and prevent the ISIL from fleeing towards Syria.