Nineveh Council Sanctions Shi'ite Militias' Participation in Tal Afar Operation

ERBIL— The Shi'ite Hashd al-Shaabi militias may participate in the battle to retake the town of Tal Afar (60km west of Mosul) conditionally, Nineveh Provincial Council announced Wednesday.

The council has no objection against Hashd al-Shaabi's participation in Tal Afar operation, provided that it operates under the supervision of the General Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces, i.e. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, according to Nuraddin Qabaln, the deputy chairman for Nineveh council.

The official indicated the operation has to be carried out by the "official" forces as counter-terrorism, federal police and Iraqi army ranks, especially by those forces who are local to Tal Afar.

As Qablan stated people of Tal Afar are concerned that the "irregular" forces of the Shi'ite militias may take revenge from people of Tal Afar.

Tal Afar stands as an IS stronghold where the extremists commit serious crimes against its residents, 75% of whom are mainly Sunni Turkmens.