Iraq Does Not Need US Air Support in Mosul: PMF Commander
Ahmet Arslan a Turkmen commander has said that Iraq's state-sponsored People's Mobilization Forces (PMF), also known as al-Hashd al-Sha'abi, do not need the United States to conduct airstrikes on Daesh targets during the operation aimed at freeing Mosul.
"We do not want the United States meddling in Iraq. We told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as much. Al-Hashd al-Sha'abi does not need America's aerial support in the operation to free Mosul from Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS), which the US created," he said; Sputnik reported.
The Mosul campaign, dubbed Operation "We Are Coming, Nineveh," was launched on October 16 to liberate the second largest city in the country and the capital of the Nineveh province. The city, home to approximately 1.5 million people, has served as Daesh's key stronghold in Iraq since the militants seized it in a blitz offensive on June 10, 2014.
Ahmet Arslan mentioned that the People's Mobilization Forces, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units, have carried out successful missions to the south of Mosul. Many villages and settlements close to the city have been freed, he said. The commander did not provide the exact figure. Daesh fighters "have been losing their forces each day," he said. "Truth be told, Daesh's power has been greatly exaggerated by the media in the US," the commander suggested.
"Meanwhile, weapons which Daesh fighters use and even water that they drink have come from the US. This is why we believe that Washington's stance with regard to Daesh has been hypocritical." The Mosul operation has seen Iraqi security forces, the US-led coalition, Peshmerga fighters and the PMF advance towards the city. Last Friday, Baghdad-led forces entered Mosul. As fighting has largely tuned into urban combat, the death toll has drastically increased. The exact figures remain unknown since the Iraqi military has not provided official information on the issue.
Source: Al Alam