Hashid Al-Shaabi Says Operation to Liberate Tal Afar To Begin In Near Future
Hashid al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said an operation to liberate the Islamic State (ISIS) held district of Tal Afar will begin in the near future.
Hashid al-Shaabi Spokesman Ahmed Asadi said during a press conference on Monday (August 14) in Baghdad that the operation will be officially announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi after the preparations have ended.
Asadi further said Hashid al-Shaabi will participate in the operation in all the axes along with the Iraqi army.
The units of Hashid al-Shaabi were deployed in the areas west of Anbar province near the Syrian border to close and control the border.
More than one month after declaring victory in the city of Mosul, Iraqi forces are poised to attack Tal Afar in what will be the next major battle against the militants.
Major-General Najm al-Jabouri on July 30 said the fight would be simple compared to the nine months of grueling urban combat in Mosul, which took a heavy toll on Iraqi forces.
Jabouri estimated there were between 1,500 and 2,000 militants left in Tal Afar. The figure may include some family members who support them, Jabouri told Reuters in an interview.
Hashid al-Shabi announced on November 16 the recapture of Tal Afar air base as the Shia militia continues operations toward Tal Afar, west of Mosul.
The town of Tal Afar is about 63 kilometers (39 miles) west of Mosul. Recapturing it would help cut ISIS’ supply lines with its Syrian territories.