Hashd al-Shaabi forces west of Mosul. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi declared it had controlled four villages on Tuesday around the besieged town of Qairawan in the Shingal region, northern Iraq.
The statement added that the villages of Sarai Garaj, Talzananir, Talzia and Talbashuk near Qairawa town were now under the control of the Hashd forces.
According to the Shiite group’s media the Yezidi populated complex of Tal Qasab surrounded by the Hashd will soon be under their control as it is a center for sending assistance to the group.
The state-backed group continue their newest offensive for a fifth day in a row. They are working to recapture the remaining areas still under control of the extremist group near the Syrian border.
The main objective for the newest offensive is Qairawan and Baa’j located west of Mosul and close to the Syrian border, commander of the Hashd al-Shaabi Mahdi al-Muhandis said on Friday.
There are 13 villages and complexes in Qairawan town in the Shingal region, falling under Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. The Hashd aims to control all of them, something Kurdish leaders, most notably President Masoud Barzani has opposed.
However, Hadi Amiri, leader of the Badr Organization, an influential force within the Hashd ,has said that their advances would continue.
Five days into the offensive, Ahmed Asadi explained in a press conference on Monday that the Hashd al-Shaabi had brought 300 kilometers under control with another 1,500 controlled before.
Asadi added that as many as 36 villages were also controlled.
“In the next phases we will reach Baaj and other areas all the way to the Iraq-Syria border,” said Asadi, adding “reaching the border is our main objective so as to cut ISIS from entering Iraq and that those besieged inside Iraq will be eliminated.”