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Iraqi Hashd Sha’abi forces foil Daesh infiltration attempt into Syria

In this file picture, Iraqi fighters from Popular Mobilization Units hold a position on the Tharthar frontline on the edge of the western province of Anbar. (Photo by AFP)

Pro-government Iraqi fighters from Popular Mobilization Units have successfully managed to thwart an attempt by members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group to sneak through the desert areas of the country’s western province of Anbar into Dayr al-Zawr province in neighboring Syria.

The media bureau of the voluntary forces, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement on Sunday that their fellow fighters had engaged a group of Daesh Takfiris as they were trying to infiltrate into Syria, exchanging heavy gunfire with the terrorists.

The statement added that scores of the militants were killed and injured in the process.

Earlier in the day, a senior advisor to Hashd al-Sha’abi forces survived an assassination attempt in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.

Sami al-Masoudi, a senior advisor to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (C)

An informed source, requesting not to be named, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network that Sami al-Masoudi came under attack near the double-decker Hassanain Bridge, but escaped the incident unscathed.

The source did not provide any further details about the incident.

On November 5, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi stressed that efforts were underway to find financial sources to support Hashd al-Sha’abi forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi addresses the Iraqi parliament during the vote on the new government in Baghdad on October 24, 3018. (Photo by AFP)

“Maintaining Hashd al-Sha’abi is one of our most important duties, and I strongly support its presence. There are those who are trying to say that Hashd al-Sha’abi is temporary, but I emphasize that such a force is a necessity,” Abdul-Mahdi said.

“Even though it is not long since the government has been formed, I will do my utmost to grant Hashd al-Sha’abi full rights,” the Iraqi prime minister pointed out.

Earlier this month, the Iraqi government sharply criticized the position of the US embassy in Baghdad vis-à-vis Hashd al-Sha’abi forces, and reprimanded its call for the dissolution of the voluntary forces.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry called on the diplomatic mission to delete part of a statement posted on its official Twitter page, which described the Hashd al-Sha’abi as a sectarian militia force.

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