ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Hashd al-Shaabi commander was killed on Saturday during an ongoing battle against the Islamic State (IS) in the desert region of western Iraq, a statement on the militias website said.
Ahmed Amir Mahdi, an engineering official within the Shia militias ranks, was killed in an operation against the militant group.
The Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), did not reveal exactly how Mahdi was killed.
Iraqi security forces and the Iranian-backed Shia militias recently launched a massive campaign to clear the last remaining pockets of IS-control in Iraq.
The extremist group is still active in a remote desert triangle known as “the island” linking the provinces of Anbar, Nineveh, and Salahuddin.
Since the establishment of the PMF in 2014, its leaders have regularly been killed during battles against IS in many cities across Iraq.
Iraqi security forces have heavily relied on the help of the Hashd al-Shaabi in military campaigns against the militant group.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had previously announced the end of IS’ self-proclaimed caliphate in the country, but said the final victory over the extremists would not take place until the island was cleared.
IS’ caliphate officially ended in Iraq after they suffered successive defeats in Mosul and Tal Afar at the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces with the support of the US-led coalition.
The desert triangle has long been a launching pad for IS attacks on Iraqi security forces since the emergence of the militant group in 2014.