The Iraqi government announced the liberation of Tal Afar in northern Iraq earlier today. The offensive to retake the city began on Aug. 20 and progressed quickly. Three Iraqi army divisions, the Counterterrorism Service, Federal Police, the Popular Mobilization Forces and Kurdish Regional Government Peshmerga all took part and were backed by the US-led coalition.
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve said that Iraq’s Iranian-backed militias “deserve a share of the credit for their sacrifices” in the battle to liberate Mosul, yet calls for Iraqis to unite to prevent the return of the Islamic State.
On July 3, Major General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force, spoke at an Iran-Iraq war veterans gathering in his home province of Kerman.
Soleimani praised the Islamic Republic’s decades-long effort to take the mantle of the Palestinian cause and boasted that Tehran’s influence in the Middle East has expanded as a result of the Syrian war. He excoriated Saudi Arabia, as well as domestic Iranian critics of the Guard Corps. And the general also lamented the drop in religious observance in Iran.
Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al Abadi arrived in Tehran today to met with senior Iranian government officials, including Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) is an “important and blessed phenomenon,” Khamenei said. “The reason the Americans oppose the popular forces is because they want Iraq to lose its important factor of strength,” he added.
Iraqi Shiite militia strongman and Imam Ali Brigades commander, Abu Azrael, was spotted alongside the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) as they make their way through the western axis of Mosul toward Tal Afar. The PMF is attempting to prevent the Islamic State’s escape to Syria through Tal Afar, which is 33 miles west of Mosul. Abu […]