Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraq’s military command has denied the withdrawal of paramilitary forces from Nineveh province, noting that the the troops were only redeploying.
Nineveh Operations commander, Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jubouri, said in press statements that Popular Mobilization Forces were “repositioning in the province”.
He added that “The Joint Operations Command and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, have handed over the security management in Mosul and the rest of Nineveh to local police, while mobilization forces station on the outskirts and the surrounding wall”.
Jubouri noted that recent searches near the Tigris River have not come up with any finding of Islamic State militants. “However, we just want to make sure they do not exist,” Jubouri explained.
“Intelligence information tell us it is hard for IS to regroup because Iraqi forces continue to track them, yet, we take all possibilities into account,” he said.
PMFs were formed from volunteer Shias in 2014 responding to a call from the country’s top Shia clergyman to carry arms against Islamic State militants. They were recognized as a national force in 2016, but have faced accusations of violating human rights of opposing sects, especially in Nineveh’s Mosul.
Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from IS early July and declared allout victory over the group in Iraq in December.
Federal Police commanders said recently they pulled out from western Mosul and handed over security to army troops.