Salahuddin (IraqiNews.com) – Paramilitary forces of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) destroyed on Monday an Islamic State (IS) camp in Salahuddin province.
“Troops of the 88th brigade of al-Hashd al-Shaabi launched a military operation in Hamrin Mountains, destroying the Islamic Sate’s Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas camp,” Alforat News quoted the brigade’s commander, Wanas al-Jabbarah, as saying.
“The destruction of the camp came as part of a military operation launched Sunday to liberate the Hamrin Mountains from IS militants,” he added.
Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of volunteer Shia paramilitary forces, have actively backed the Iraqi government’s military campaign against IS since 2014, when they were formed upon a top Shia clergy edict to counter the Sunni Jihadist group.
The forces won official recognition as a national force late 2016, becoming under the command of the prime minister, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Abadi has recurrently defended PMFs against domestic and foreign accusations of committing human rights violations.
IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.