Iraqi Shiite Volunteer Forces Getting Ready for Mosul Battle

The Iraqi Shiite militia movement known as the Hashed al-Shaabi has formed a military command center for a campaign to recapture the ISIL terrorists’ main stronghold of Mosul, a spokesman for the movement announced Wednesday.

Karim Nuri said the center has been formed and in the coming weeks will lead the military operations, Rudaw reported.

“The Hashed al-Shaabi has established a joint military operation center with the Iraqi Army and Mosul’s volunteer militias, aiming to set plans on how to launch assaults against the ISIL fortifications in Mosul,” said Nuri.

“The center will have a crucial role in organizing military tactics,” he added.

Nuri pointed out that since the Shiite fighters took up arms in 2014 to fight the ferocious invasion of the ISIL, the Hashed al-Shaabi has taken part in “hundreds” of battles against the ISIL forces.

According to the spokesman, several top Iraqi Army officials will join the command center as well as the Iraqi Federal Police and the Iraqi Intelligence Service, known as the Mukhabarat.

After having a crucial role in liberating Tikrit from the ISIL, Hashed al-Shaabi leaders have debated their potential role in the mostly Sunni city of Mosul.

In early April, Mosul’s exiled former governor Atheel Nujaifi told Rudaw the presence of Hashed al-Shaabi in Mosul would cause sectarian tensions.


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