Al-Hashd al-Shaabi liberate Tal Abta in western Mosul

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighter in Tal Afar.
Al-Hashd al-Shaabi fighter in Tal Afar.

Nineveh ( Al-Hashd sl-Shaabi militia said Tuesday its combatants recaptured the southern section of the town of Tal Abta, another step towards besieging the Islamic State holdouts in western Mosul.

The militia’s media service said the victory came after intense fights with the extremist group.

Last week, al-Hashd al-Shaabi said the troops were preparing to invade the flashpoint village of Tal Abta, the only remaining area to consummate a siege on the town of Tal Afar, a major ISIS stronghold and a vital spot on the group’s supply lines from Syria.

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi, which turned via a parliament vote last month from a mere popular militia to an Iraqi national force, has been actively fighting against ISIS by the side of the Iraqi government forces. The militia has been mostly active in the southwestern areas of Mosul since operations to retake the city launched in mid October. Government forces, meanwhile, are still struggling to liberate the eastern section of the city and have said they had become in control over at least 50 percent of that region.

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