PMUs kill 10 IS militants in western Mosul desert area

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) in western Mosul.

Nineveh ( Pro-government militias have said they had killed 10 Islamic State militants in western Mosul desert as operations continue to clear the region from the extremist group.

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units), said Tuesday they killed ten Islamic State combatants who staged an attack on the force’s entrenchments at al-Hadar desert area. Al-Hashd media said the force detonated three booby-trapped vehicles belonging to the group.

PMUs have been active near the west Mosul town of Tal Afar, a strategic IS stronghold. The force, an alliance of paramilitary Shia militias that turned into a national force in 2016, has recently recaptured several areas around Tal Afar, putting the town under a full siege.

Iraqi government forces on Tuesday took over the government complex in western Mosul, a major victory that security generals say will be highly decisive in ending the battle against IS in their favor. Security forces took over eastern Mosul in January after three months of encounters, and are currently pushing to clear the western region from the extremist group.

Since the campaign for western Mosul began, Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition generals spoke of fast collapses in IS’s defense lines and shrinking in the close circle of aids around the group’s supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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