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Hashd al-Sha’abi begins aid delivery to liberated Mosul areas

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Displaced Iraqis open boxes of food aid at the Hamam al-Alil camp, where many residents from Mosul are taking shelter, as the government forces continue their offensive to retake the embattled city from Daesh on March 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, have begun delivering humanitarian aid to the Mosul districts recaptured from Daesh terrorists, as government forces push deeper into the city’s western half.

PMU convoys of trucks and cars deliver food, water and blankets sent from cities in southern Iraq to the war-hit districts of Mosul, the last Daesh stronghold in Iraq, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Hashd al-Sha’abi is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of some 40 groups, which are mainly Shia Muslims. The force reportedly numbers more than 100,000 fighters. Iraqi authorities say there are between 25,000 and 30,000 Sunni tribal fighters within its ranks in addition to Kurdish Izadi and Christian units.

The fighters have played a major role in the liberation of Daesh-held areas to the south, northeast and north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, ever since the terrorists launched an offensive in the country in June 2014.

The news comes as a large number of injured civilians inside Mosul do not have access to medical treatment and many families, whose homes have been destroyed, are fleeing the intensifying clashes between the Iraqi forces and Daesh terrorists.

Many of the residential houses close to the frontline in the conflict zone have been abandoned.

Local sources say Daesh has been using chemical weapons with some mortars.

Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters are leading military operations to win back militant-held regions, trying to eliminate terrorists or driving them out of their country.

They took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.

Iraqis advancing in W Mosul

In their latest gains against the terrorists, Iraqi forces managed to liberate the Badush Bridge in western Mosul and a water plant in the area, according to Abdulamir Rashid Yarallah, the commander of the liberation operation for the city of Mosul.

The Iraqi air force was also providing air cover to the soldiers operating on the ground against Daesh elements.

Iraqi Federal Police forces also said Wednesday that they took control of internal passageways at western Mosul’s Old City, through which Daesh bombers and vehicles would sneak to target the security forces.

“Daesh resorts to shelling the populated, liberated areas so as to distract our troops, leaving tens of casualties, which requires us to hurry to the rescue,” said Iraqi Federal Police Chief Lieutenant General Shaker Jawdat.

The United Nations said Wednesday that around 45,000 people have fled the fighting between Iraqi forces and Daesh terrorists in western Mosul over the past week, a 22 percent increase from the previous week. 

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