Friday, November 18, 2016

Shia militias, Hashid al Shaabi, poised to take Iraq’s Tal Afar: Official

Shia militiamen have advanced to within three kilometers of the Daesh-held majority-Turkmen city of Tal Afar, located some 60 kilometers west of Mosul, according to an Iraqi Turkmen official.

"Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen are advancing towards Tal Afar after having captured the city’s airport from Daesh," Aydin Maarouf, an MP for the Iraqi Turkmen Front in northern Iraq's Kurdish regional parliament, said Friday.

Established in 2014, the Hashd al-Shaabi is an umbrella group of pro-government Shia militias drawn up with the express purpose of fighting Daesh.

  • According to Maarouf, earlier promises by the Baghdad government that Shia militiamen would not be permitted to enter Tal Afar now appear unlikely to be honored.

"Some 11,000 Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen currently stand only 3 kilometers from the center of Tal Afar and are preparing to storm the city," Maarouf said.

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