Shia volunteer fighters from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units have launched an operation to recapture a northern town from which the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group recently carried out a chemical attack.
"The operation aims to liberate Bashir, after we succeeded several days ago in cutting off supplies to ISIL (Daesh) in the Bashir area," Abu Ridha al-Najjar, the operation commander, said on Sunday.
Najjar added that four pro-government fighters were also killed and 40 wounded in clashes with the terrorist group in Sunday's operation.
Last month, Daesh militants fired a total of 24 mortar shells and Katyusha rockets filled with “poisonous substances” into the village of Taza, located some 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the oil city of Kirkuk. The raid was carried out from the nearby militant-held Bashir area.
The attack killed three children and wounded at least 40 people, forcing thousands more to flee Taza out of fear that the assault would be repeated.
Daesh has reportedly been trying to produce chemical weapons and is believed to have formed a special unit for chemical weapons research. Iraqi scientists from the Saddam-era weapons program as well as foreign experts are thought to be working for the terror group.
Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh terrorists launched an offensive in June 2014, and took control of portions of the Iraqi territory.
The militants have been committing heinous crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians. Iraqi army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units are seeking to win back militant-held regions in joint operations.