Mosul (IraqiNews.com) An official from the paramilitary troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi has revealed Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Haidar al-Abadi’s refusal of the troops participation in liberating Tal Afar town, Islamic State’s major stronghold near the borders with Syria.
In remarks, Jawad al-Tulaibawi, from the Public Mobilization Units (PMUs) said the forces will head toward al-Baaj, after liberating Hatra region, in addition to securing the Iraqi-Syrian borders in order to prevent any supply to IS in Iraq.
He added that Abadi’s orders including liberating Hatra then Baaj and securing the borders, refusing the troops participation in storming of Tal Afar.
Nahla al-Hababi, MP representing the Shiite alliance, said in statements on Saturday that “the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a message to Abadi that the Iraqi troops advance toward Tal Afar would mean a similar advance by Turkish troops toward the town too.”
In an TV interview aired in April, Erdogan criticized the PMUs and described them as terrorist entity.
“Who are al-Hashd al-Shaabi? Who is backing them? The Iraqi parliament supports al-Hashd al-Shaabi, but, honestly, they are a terrorist organization, and should be known who stands behind it,” he said during the interview.
On Thursday, PMUs liberated Hatra region after an offensive was launched to Tuesday to free it from IS fighters and cut off the IS routes between Hawija, Mosul and eastern Syria.