World Bulletin / News Desk
A pro-government Shia militia has made gains in Iraq’s predominantly Turkmen city of Tal Afar, taking the city’s military airport and 17 villages.
Army officer Jabar Hasan said the Hashd al-Shaabi militia has completed the 3rd phase of its military operations west of Mosul.
“The pro-government militia has liberated Tal Afar’s military airport and 17 villages,” army officer Jabar Hasan said on Sunday.
He said the pro-government militia is now awaiting orders from the military to advance into the city, which is currently held by ISIL militants.
Last week, the Shia militia said it had cut off roads connecting Syria with Tal Afar.
Established in 2014, the Hashd al-Shaabi is an umbrella group of pro-government Shia militias drawn up with the express purpose of fighting ISIL.
Sunni political figures in Iraq, however, have consistently warned that the Shia militia group’s entrance into Tal Afar could spark sectarian conflict with the city’s Sunni-Muslim residents.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces on Monday killed a photographer working for Amaq news agency, a key part of ISIL’s propaganda machine, in south-eastern Mosul.
In a statement, the Defense Ministry said its forces had seized three cameras from the slain militant.
There was no comment from the ISIL group on the claim.
Last month, the Iraqi army -- backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and local allies on the ground -- began a wide-ranging operation to retake Mosul, ISIL’s last bastion in northern Iraq, which the militant group overran in 2014.Last Mod: 21 Kasım 2016, 13:28