Parade held in Baghdad in support of Iraqi army

indir (10)Thousands of supporters of the Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have paraded in Baghdad in solidarity with the army which is engaged in heavy fighting against Takfiri militants.

Newly-recruited Iraqi volunteers, loyal to Sadr, underwent training on Thursday to join the army after the Shia cleric urged his supporters across the country to enhance unity among the Iraqi people.

Tens of thousands of volunteers have so far joined the Iraqi troops who are engaged in a fierce battle against militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern and northwestern areas.

Days ago, Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for the people to join the battle and defend the country.

Iraqi media say more than two million people have so far voiced their readiness to join the fight.

On June 10, the ISIL militants took control of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, in a lightning advance, which was followed by the fall of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Iraqi armed forces are preparing to stage a massive offensive from several fronts to push militants out of the cities of Tikrit and Mosul.

Iraqi armed forces have managed to regain control of the Abu Tayban region in the city of Ramadi and almost all parts of the strategic town of Tal Afar in Nineveh province.

Iraqi soldiers have also regained control of the Baiji oil refinery in the strategic Salahuddin province after the ISIL militants attacked the oil facility earlier this week.

The ISIL militants have vowed to continue their raid towards Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has lashed out at Saudi Arabia for supporting the ISIL terrorists.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says around one million Iraqis have been uprooted since Takfiri militants launched the attack in the country.

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