IRAQI NEWS

MP says route between IS’s Iraq and Syria strongholds cut

Al-Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) have managed to cut the route between Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa, both the main strongholds for the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to a parliament member.

The Shia militia, fighting IS by the side of Iraqi government forces, managed on Wednesday to cut the road between the two cities as battles intensify to liberate Mosul from IS fighters, said Abdulaziz Hassan, a member of the parliament’s Defense and Security Committee. “That is a significant step,” he said.

The security and defense committee has not detected any violations by al-Hashed al-Shaabi in Mosul operations so far, according to Hassan. The United Nations and observers had warned against violations against the citizens of Mosul after the anticipated liberation of the city.

Commenting on Turkish fears of al-Hashed al-Shaabi’s participation in Mosul’s invasion, Hassan said:” al-Hashed al-Shaabi and Peshmerga forces are not going into Mosul, and the general command of the armed forces had assigned tasks for all forces.” He added that Turkish forces “had entered Iraq without our permission, which is a violation of international law.”

Tensions have soared recently between Turkey and Iraq, with the latter accusing Ankara of deploying its forces in Bashiqa, Nineveh, without permission. Ankara has been training locals in Nineveh to engage in fights against the Islamic State, insisting that it would not leave the battle against IS in Iraq.

Mishan al-Jabbouri, an MP from Salahuddin province, voiced Wednesday to Alsumaria TV his concerns of a possible “encounter” between al-Hashed al-Shaabi and Turkish troops in Bashiqa. He urged al-Hashed forces to settle their disagreements with Turks in Tal Afar.

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