Paramilitary troops to take part in Tal Afar liberation: Spokesperson
The pro-government Shia-led paramilitary forces have denied news that troops will not participate in Tal Afar liberation saying they will be actively engaged in the battle.
“Based on instructions from the commander in chief of the armed forces, al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Units] will be actively engaged in Tal Afar liberation battle alongside with the security and armed forces,” Ahmed al-Assadi, PMUs spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
Assadi denied news that troops will not take part in the battle, saying that “the official stance of al-Hashd al-Shaabi is decided by either the chief, his deputy or the official spokesperson.”
On Thursday, Senior PMUs official Jawad al-Tulaibawi said troops will not take part in the battle citing local and international pressures.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said all security forces including tribal mobilization fighters and PMUs will take part in Tal Afar liberation.
In May, Jawad al-Tulaibawi, PMU official, revealed Abadi’s refusal of the troops participation in Tal Afar liberation.
The Iraqi army’s ninth armored division reportedly arrived earlier this week to boundaries of the town after arrangements were declared to be concluded ahead of the invasion. An army official was quoted on Monday as saying that an army division was ordered to leave Mosul toward Tal Afar within preparations to retake the town, which has been set as the next target of operations after victory was declared in Mosul on July 10.