Shiite militia says it has one of the most dangerous fronts in Mosul offensive
The Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi militia – which is fighting in alliance with the Iraqi Army – said Saturday that it has been tasked with “one of the most significant and most dangerous” fronts of the offensive to liberate Mosul from ISIS.
The group’s spokesman, Ahmad al-Asadi, told reporters that the militia has an area of 14,000 sq. km to recapture from ISIS.
“The front that has been tasked to the Hashd al-Shaabi is one of the most significant and most dangerous fronts in this operation,” al-Asadi said.
He added that the Hashd “is tasked with one of the widest areas, ranging from Qayyara in the west, Tal Afar in the north to the Mosul outskirts in the east and some areas on the Syrian-Iraqi border to the west.”
The spokesman said that their advance to Mosul will cut ISIS supply lines from the Syrian border and in Iraq’s central provinces of Anbar and Salahaddin.
Iraqi and Shiite militia make more gains South and west of Mosul
The Iraqi forces have controlld the centre of the Shura sub-district and its police station on Saturday afternoon. The Iraqi War Media Cell from the Join Operations Command reported .
The sub-district is located some 45 km south of Mosul.
It also said the villages of Majman, Humaidiya, Shruq, Mukhalat, and Jayif were liberated.
The Media Cell added that the Iraqi forces are trying to secure the area and make it possible for the Hashd al-Shabak to participate in recapturing the Nineveh plains.
Meanwhile, the Shiite militia Hashd al-Shaabi continues its advances in the west of Mosul, bringing more villages under its control, the group stated on its Facebook page.
In addition to the seven liberated villages announced earlier in the day, the villages of Abu Arayis, Zwirij, and Mustanqa’ are said to have been recaptured by the Shiite militia.
Airstrike in Bashiqa
An airstrike has been carried out against the ISIS militants in Bashiqa front on Saturday. It is not clear at this stage whether the colaiton forces conducted the airstrike or the Iraqi forces.
Abdul-Ghani Al-Asadi, commander of the Iraqi anti-terror forces, told Rudaw TV on Friday midnight that the coalition forces did not carry out any airstrikes on Friday from 16:00 pm because there were no requests from the Iraqi side.
Nobody dares to go near ISIS militants
An old woman and two of her grandchildren were received by the Peshmerga forces in Bashiqa front. They are from the Shabak minority in Mosul.
The woman told Rudaw she escaped a village northeast of Mosul where there are still ISIS militants.
"we just run," she said as she was describing walking towards the Peshmerga lines on Saturday.
She said the villagers were too terrified to go even near the ISIS militants
"nobody goes near them," she said when she responded to a question whether the ISIS militants were locals or foreigners,"everyone is afraid to do so."
Seven villages liberated today
Hashd al-Shaabi claims that it has liberated seven villages since the launch of the operation at 6:00 am Saturday morning
“The Hashd al-Shaabi forces...have liberated nearly 35 km, and seven villages,” in the southwest of Mosul, the group claimed.
The liberated villages so far are Haram, Ayn Nasr, Ayn Al-Baizah, San Zaban, Hamza, Mwaylaha, and Sajma.
The Iraqi army had claimed on Thursday it had liberated the village of Sajma.
Meanwhile, the United States and the Iraqi army reported two different figures for the liberated areas from the Islamic State. The Iraqi forces claimed on Thursday that at least 87 villages were liberated by its forces, whereas the Americans reported only 42.
Ayn An Nasr Village liberated
Hashd al-Shaabi claims to have liberated Ayn An Nasr village, second village on Saturday, south west of Mosul. The Shiite militia announced on its official twitter account
Tal Tayiba village liberated
Hashd al-Shaabi has announced it has liberated the village of Tal Tayiba.
Civilians flee Bashiqa
Some civilians have begun Saturday morning to flee the Islamic State-held town of Bashiqa, encircled by the Kurdish forces for six days
Asaib Ahl al-Haq takes part in offensive west of Mosul
Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a leading group within the Shiite Hashd Al-Shaabi, will take part in the offensive on west of Mosul, the group told Rudaw on Saturday.
They Shiite militia announced on Saturday that the plan is to liberate Tal Afar, a largely Turkmen town, as well as other areas in the west.
Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that his country "will not be insensitive" if the Turkmens of Tal Afar are attacked. He added Turkey will take precautionary measures as allowed by international law.
Jawad Tulaibawi, the spokesperson for Asaib Ahl al-Haq, told Rudaw on saturday they are prepared for “an international attack” on their forces.
“We have put in place plans to counter any international enemy which may attack our units west of Mosul”
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The mainly Shiite militia Hashd al-Shaabi announced Saturday an offensive to recapture areas to the west of Mosul from ISIS, a front left open since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi launched the Mosul operation 13 days ago.
“This morning the second page of the major operations has been launched from the western front of the city of Mosul... where your sons and brothers from Hashd al-Shaabi will take upon themselves the liberation of all occupied areas after two years of humiliating occupation,” Ahmad al-Asadi, a spokesperson for the Hashd al-Shaabi said in a statement on Saturday.
“The wounded and victim town of Tal Afar and other towns will be among the areas [Hashd al-Shaabi] will liberate," Asadi added.
Tal Afar is a largely Turkmen town with a mixed Sunni and Shiite population.
The Iraqi and Kurdish forces have made advances from the north, east, and south of Mosul thus far, but the front in the west was left almost intact, potentially providing an escape route for the ISIS militants to make their way to Syria.