Commander lauds role of Iran, Hezbollah in Iraq victories

Tasnim – A senior commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as Hashid al-Shaabi, praised the role of Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement in Iraq’s recent victories over the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group.

Addressing the 9th General Assembly of the Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis offered his congratulations over the recent victories achieved by Iraqi forces, including the liberation of the northern city of Mosul from Daesh.

“We thank (Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah) Seyed Ali Khamenei and (Secretary General of Hezbollah) Seyed Hassan Nasrallah for supporting us in the fight against Daesh,” he noted.

Noting that Hashid al-Shaabi was entrusted with the task of liberating vast areas of Mosul, he said the forces liberated about 25,000 square kilometers from Daesh terrorists.

Daesh militants made swift advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing swaths of northern Syria.

However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for the fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive and forced the terrorist group to withdraw from much of the areas it had occupied.

Iraqi military forces on Thursday captured the Mosul mosque at the heart of the northern city, which Daesh had declared its de facto capital.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of the site of the symbolic al-Nuri Mosque in Old Mosul as “the declaration of the end of the statelet of Daesh.”

Iraqi authorities expect the long battle for Mosul to end in coming days as remaining Daesh militants are bottled up in just a handful of neighborhoods of the Old City.

Daesh stronghold in Syria’s Raqqa is also close to falling.