Hashd al-Shaabi forces have an estimated 100, 000 fighters, mainly active south and west of Mosul, near the Syrian border. Photo: Hashd media office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi forces have launched an offensive Friday to recapture a village that ISIS controlled earlier this week.
ISIS took control of Imam Gharbi, some 70 kilometers south of Mosul, a day after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the liberation of Mosul after nearly nine-month war against the extremist group.
The Hashd forces, otherwise known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, stated that they have entered the village from different fronts, also helped by Iraqi police forces of the Saladin Province.
The paramilitary forces have also said that they have established a 70-kilometer “strategic road” on the Iraqi-Syrian border that makes the mobilization of their forces easier and faster in responding to ISIS border movements.
Meanwhile, Ahmad al-Asadi, the Hashd spokesperson, stated on Thursday that they are prepared to take part in the offensive to recapture Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk, and remaining ISIS-held areas.
ISIS still controls Hawija, Tal Afar, west of Mosul, and al-Qaim, west of Anbar province.
Haashd forces have taken part in the Mosul offensive since October last year, mainly active in the areas south and west of Mosul.
They have captured some places south of the Yezidi town of Shingal earlier this year, causing some tensions between them and the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stationed in the area.
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said earlier this week that Hashd activities south of Shingal is in “breach” of a trilateral agreement between Baghdad, Erbil, and the US-led anti-ISIS Global Coalition signed before the Mosul offensive, so he is concerned this may cause “big problems” in the future.