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Hashd al-Shaabi clash surround ISIS-held Qairawan from three sides

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The mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi forces are engaged in clashes with the ISIS militants in the Yezidi villages of Tal Banat and Tal Qasab, west of Mosul, as they continue their newest offensive for a third day in a row. They are working to recapture the remaining areas still under control of the extremist group near the Syrian border. The paramilitary force, backed by the Iraqi air force and the Iraqi army, had entered the Yezidi village of Tal Banat Sunday morning that fell to ISIS militants in late 2014, Rudaw’s Peshawa Pahlawi reported in the outskirts of the village. Dust and black smoke have been rising in the skylines of Tal Banat, located southeast of Shingal district. Rudaw’s Tahsin Qasim, also reporting on the ground, said that the paramilitary have surrounded Tal Qasab, another Yezidi village in the area. They Shiite force claimed Sunday afternoon that they have liberated Khilu village, west of Tal Qasab. The Shiite forces had declared that they liberated 10 villages on Saturday, including Tal Banat. They also reported that the main Shingal-Qairawan road fell to their forces the day before. With the advances made Saturday, the forces claim that they are surrounding Qairawan from three sides, to the north, east and south. The forces are now 3 km away from Qairawan, south of Shingal. The main objective for the fresh offesnive is Qairawan and Baa’j located west of Mosul and close to the Syrian border, commander of the Hashd al-Shaabi Mahdi al-Muhandis said on Friday. Muhandis added that the operation was to achieve its objectives within the “next 48 or 72 hours”.

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