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Commander: US Seeking to Delay Hashd Al-Shaabi Advances to Tal Afar



Iraqi volunteer forces will soon start the second phase of the military operations in areas on the Western side of Mosul, a senior commander said, complaining that the Baghdad government is under much pressure by the US to delay Hashd al-Shaabi’s military advances towards the city of Tal Afar.

“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 on Tuesday.

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”.

In relevant remarks on Tuesday, 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 Monday, yet another senior Hashd al-Shaabi commander announced that his forces have taken full control of all roads to Mosul.

“The Hashd al-Shaabi forces are now in full control of all roads leading to Mosul … and they have managed to seize back 65 villages,” Abu Mohandes said.

He reiterated that fierce clashes are underway with the ISIL near the borders with Syria.

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.

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