The Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have foiled a series of attacks by groups of unknown assailants on their bases in the country’s oil-rich southern province of Basra, inflicting losses on the assailants.
Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with the PMU, known in Arabic as Hashd al-Sha’abi, reported that PMU forces managed to thwart the assaults on Tuesday morning, forcing the gunmen to flee.
It put the number of casualties among the assailants at a dozen.
Earlier, the news outlet reported that a series of explosions had ripped through PMU bases, triggering clashes between the forces inside and unidentified gunmen, who were fiercely seeking to barge into the complex.
It said that at least eight Katyusha rockets landed in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace compound in Basra early on Tuesday.
The report added that four of the projectiles struck the al-Tannumah neighborhood.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.
Hashd al-Sha’abi is an Iraqi government-sponsored umbrella organization composed of around 40 factions of volunteer counter-terrorism forces, including mostly Shia Muslims besides Sunni Muslims, Christians and Kurds.
On June 15, 2014, Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling on all Iraqi people to join forces with the army to confront Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
The historic fatwa led to the formation of Hashd al-Sha’abi, which rushed to the aid of the army and took the lead in many of the successful anti-terror operations, which ultimately led to the collapse of Daesh’s territorial rule and liberation of the entire Iraqi land in December 2017.
Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror group, had managed to occupy large swathes of territory in Iraq earlier in 2014.
The lightning gains made by the terrorist group caught Iraq’s national army off guard, pushing government forces to the verge of collapse and leaving the Arab state in disarray.
Hashd al-Sha’abi gained its official recognition from the Iraqi parliament in November 2016 and became a legal part of the Iraqi armed forces after Daesh was vanquished.