20,000 Hashd Sha'abi fighters to take part in Tal Afar operation: Spokesman
Iran Press TV
Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:34PM
Spokesman for the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) says thousands of pro-government fighters are going to participate in the upcoming operation to retake the northern city of Tal Afar from the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on Friday, Ahmed al-Asadi said 20,000 volunteer forces, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha'abi, will take part in the forthcoming battle for Tal Afar, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul.
He added that Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, is going to set the zero hour to start the operation.
"We have information about the presence of foreigners within Daesh ranks in Tal Afar, but we do not know their identity," Asadi pointed out.
He noted that the operation to liberate Tal Afar will not take long, but rather several weeks.
Asadi went on to say that Hashd al-Sha'abi is formed on a national basis, and includes people from all walks of the Iraqi society.
Two thirds of Iraqi legislators have recognized Hashd al-Sha'abi as an official force, he stressed.
On August 14, Lieutenant Faraj Hamed of Hashd al-Sha'abi said Abbas Brigade, Ali Akbar Brigade, Badr Organization, Imam Ali Brigade, Imam Hussein Brigade, and Hezbollah Battalions would participate in the fight to dislodge the Daesh terrorist group from Tal Afar.
Speaking at a youth meeting on July 29, Abadi said Hashd al-Sha'abi fighters would take part in the offensive to win back Tal Afar.
He said the army and security commanders had devised a plan to dislodge Daesh from Tal Afar, which required the participation of security personnel as well as Hashd al-Sha'abi and tribal fighters.
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