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Hashd Sha’abi to actively participate in Tal Afar liberation op: Official

14 August 2017 20:29

 

A high-ranking official of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) says the pro-government fighters will actively participate alongside security forces in the forthcoming operation to liberate the northern city of Tal Afar from the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

“Today we want to speak loud and clear that PMU is actively involved in Tal Afar military operation and will participate in all areas, where operation is taking place,” Ahmed al-Asadi, the spokesman for the volunteer forces, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, told reporters during a news conference in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on Monday.

Asadi also described the participation of Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters in the upcoming battle for Tal Afar, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul, as “essential”, stating, “Our forces will participate actively in the liberation of Tal Afar and from all sides.”

The senior Hashd al-Sha’abi official went on to say that commanders of the pro-government force have already held detailed meetings with their counterparts in the Iraqi army, and exchanged viewpoints concerning the plan for the liberation of Tal Afar.

Members of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (Hashd al-Sha’abi) gather in a street in the modern town of Hatra, near the eponymous UNESCO-listed ancient city, southwest of the northern city of Mosul, on April 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

 

“We have set an initial date and time for these operations, which will be announced at the zero hour by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi once all involved units are properly prepared,” Asadi pointed out.

The remarks came on the same day that Lieutenant Faraj Hamed of Hashd al-Sha’abi said Abbas Brigade, Ali Akbar Brigade, Badr Organization, Imam Ali Brigade, Imam Hussein Brigade, and Hezbollah Battalions would participate in the fight to dislodge the Daesh terrorist group from Tal Afar.

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.

He said the army and security commanders had devised a plan to dislodge Daesh from Tal Afar, which required the participation of security personnel as well as Hashd al-Sha’abi and tribal fighters.

Iraqi forces find Daesh tunnels in northwestern Mosul

Meanwhile, Iraqi army forces have discovered three tunnels used by members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during a mop-up operation in Mosul.

A member of the Iraqi forces inspects a tunnel that was reportedly used as a training center by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists on March 1, 2017 in the village of Albu Sayf on the southern outskirts of Mosul. (Photo by AFP)

 

Lieutenant Colonel Sallam al-Khaffaf told Basnews news agency that government troops found the tunnels in the northern Qairawan district of the city, located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad, as they were combing the liberated area of hidden ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

Khaffaf added that the tunnels contained communication kits, many cell phones that Daesh militants had confiscated from civilians and lists with names of civilians whom the Takfiris had executed.

Iraqi army gets ready to retake Tal Afar

In a related development, the Iraqi officials said on Monday that the country’s military was getting prepared for the battle to retake Tal Afar.

Accoding to AFP, Federal Police Chief Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat said in a statement that “armored and elite units are headed for Tal Afar,” which is considered as the main remaining stronghold of Daesh in northern Iraq, located 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) west of Mosul.

The official did not give details on the number of military units involved in the operation, but added that they were “regrouping in combat positions in preparation for the next battle.”

Daesh captured Tal Afar in June 2014 with a population of around 200,000.

Tal Afar is currently surrounded by Iraq’s popular mobilization forces, who have cut it off from Mosul in the east and the Syrian border to the north and west.

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