Iraq’s Shi­ite mili­tias join Mo­sul push; bombs rock Bagh­dad

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Thou­sands of fighters flocked to join Iraq’s state-sanc­tioned, Iran-backed Shi­ite mili­tias on Sun­day, ad­vanc­ing to cut off Is­lamic State ex­trem­ists holed up near Mo­sul in north­ern Iraq while bombers killed at least 17 peo­ple in Shi­ite neigh­bor­hoods of Bagh­dad.

Mili­tia spokes­men said that some 5,000 fighters had joined their push to en­cir­cle from the west the coun­try’s sec­ond-largest city of Mo­sul, the IS mil­i­tants’ last bas­tion in Iraq, which is linked by road to ter­ri­tory it holds in Syria.

Karim al-Nuri of the mili­tias’ um­brella group, known as the Pop­u­lar Mo­bi­liza­tion Units, and Jaa­far al-Hus­seini, a spokesman for unit mem­ber the Hezbol­lah Brigades, said that a to­tal of some 15,000 Shi­ite fighters were now par­tic­i­pat­ing in the bat­tle.

The Iraqi mil­i­tary con­firmed the fig­ures, which, would bring the to­tal num­ber of anti-IS forces in the of­fen­sive to over 40,000.

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