Report: Hashd al-Sha'bi plays critical role in liberation of Tal AfarFebruary 2, 2017
AhlulBayt News Agency) - As operations to liberate Iraq's Tal Afar District in Nineveh province continue, The Popular Mobilization Units or Al Hashd al Shabi are playing a vital role in the offensive.
The People's Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) (in Arabic Al-Hashd Al-Sha'abi) were established three years ago and have generally played a leading role in the protracted war on ISIS terrorist group in Iraq.
Last November, the Iraqi parliament passed a law granting full legal status to fighters from the PMU, thus allowing them to officially join government forces in counter-terrorism operations against ISIS Takfiri terrorists across the war-torn country.
Even before getting parliamentary legitimacy, PMU real legitimacy is with the Iraqi people who laid of this force. PMU fighters are basically volunteers from among the Iraqi masses who are ready and willing to sacrifice their lives to defend their country and to liberate it from the notorious Takfiri terrorists.
PMU leads Tal Afar liberation
PMU fighters launched an operation on 20 October, 2016, to retake the Tal Afar District of Nineveh province from ISIS and to cut off ISIS supply lines from Mosul to Syria.
Theirs most recent battle front success has been in the where on Wednesday they recaptured a village west of Mosul from the ISIS terrorist group.
Hashd al-Shaabi First Lieutenant Hameed Khafaji told reporters that PMU fighters cut the road linking the villages of Ain Talawi and Telal Silo northwest of the Tal Afar district and have already captured the first village.
He added that some his forces have joined up with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters’ south of Sinjar and cut the road linking Mosul with Tal Afar, which ISIS had used as a supply route.
On Monday, PMU forces stationed also managed to kill dozens of ISIS terrorists as they attempted to break out into Syria’s bordering Hasakah province. Since the outset of the Nineveh operations, the Iraqi Security Forces have managed to liberate
Last Saturday, PMU declared that its fighters managed to kill 40 members of the ISIS terrorist group, after repulsing their attack, west of Mosul. In a press release, PMU noted that, “Forces from PMU’s 2nd brigade repelled an attack launched by ISIS on al-Kobayrat area, east of Mosul.”
Meanwhile, in a well-coordinated strategy, the Iraqi forces have been moving with speed in an operation aimed at liberation Mosul from ISIS terrorists while PMU fighters have been engaged in a parallel offensive to retake Tal Afar. This is after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ordered the PMU to impose a siege on Tal Afar, in preparation for the Iraqi army’s planned storming of the district.
Last Friday, The Iraqi Joint Operations Command, headed by General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah confirmed that PMU will march towards Tal Afar, despite previous opposition from Turkey, while the Iraqi army and police will take Mosul city.
Since the commencement of the crucial operations to completely eject ISIS from Nineveh, joint Iraqi armed forces have managed to liberate eastern Mosul alongside dozens of nearby villages. Meanwhile, across the Tigris river, the PMU took on the daunting task of encircling Mosul and separating it from Syria.
PMU plays strategic role
A few weeks into operations, the PMU forces managed to liberate hundreds of villages between Qayyarah Airbase and Sinjar by attacking the ISIS stronghold of Tal Afar from three directions. So far, all ISIS attempts to break through the imposed siege have failed miserably thus trapping the terrorist group in the area.
The liberation of Tal Afar is bound to deal a massive blow to ISIS in Iraq, which now controls less than 10% of the country’s territory.
No doubt, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units will play a strategic role in securing Iraq and ensuring sustainable peace is restored in the country.