Nineveh rejects Shia militia participation in Mosul

The Provincial Council of Nineveh (PCN) vetoed the participation of Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi in the liberation of Mosul

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – The Provincial Council of Nineveh (PCN) vetoed the participation of Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi in the liberation of Mosul in northern Iraq, said a PCN member on Monday.

In a statement, Kurdish PCN Member Seydo Hussein Tatani informed K24 that in a meeting on Monday most of the PCN committee rejected the participation of Hashd al-Shaabi in liberating Mosul from the Islamic State (IS).

Hashd al-Shaabi is one of the biggest Iraqi militias in the country that consists of over 51 militant groups. The army was created after the Iranian top Shia cleric in Iraq Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani decided to protect the Shia shrines from IS threats.

The militia has often been reported by Amnesty, an international human rights organization, for committing war crimes in different parts of Iraq.

Mosul is one of the largest cities in Iraq that has been under the control of the IS extremists since June 2014.

“Mosul operation must be conducted in cooperation with the Peshmerga, Iraqi Army and the international coalition,” Tatani said.

He highlighted Peshmerga’s bravery in retaking many IS controlled territories surrounding Mosul. “It has been more than a year that Peshmerga is sacrificing their lives in freeing towns and villages from Da’esh,” Tatani added, using the pejorative term for IS.

Additionally, he thanked Peshmerga, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the people of Kurdistan Region for accommodating and protecting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and contributing in clearing areas from the extremists.

“Hopefully, Mosul will be freed soon by Peshmerga and the people of Mosul,” he stated.

On Jan. 22, 2016, Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi mentioned that Mosul will be liberated in the first half of the year.

Recently, Baghdad deployed thousands of troops to Makhmour area located in southeastern Mosul. “The total number of Iraqi soldiers in Makhmour is nearly 5,000 now,” Secretary-General of Peshmerga Ministry Jabar Yawar told K24 on Feb. 17.

 

Reporting by Mewan Dolamari

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa