Nineveh – (IraqiNews.com) Al-Hashed al-Shaabi militias started Thursday to hand over to the Iraqi army 16 villages in Mosul they had recaptured from Islamic State militants, according to a local official.
“Al-Hashed al-Shaabi forces have begun to hand over 16 liberated villages in Tal Afar, east of Mosul, to the army’s 15th division,” said Hossam Eddin al-Abbar, a member of Nineveh province’s council.
He said that the army will take hold of those territories as al-Hashed proceed to free more villages.
Al-Hashed al-Shaabi has been actively partaking in the Iraqi government’s campaign to liberate the city of Mosul, ISIS’s last foothold in Iraq. On Wednesday, the militia announced it recaptured the strategic Tal Afar air base after violent clashes with ISIS. The militia’s media said the development represented a major step in its quest to advance to the center of Mosul, where ISIS militants are reported to have relocated many civilians as human shields.