Abadi: Shia militias will not enter Tal Afar

Abadi: Shia militias will not enter Tal Afar
The Iraqi prime minister has dispatched Iraqi forces to take the majority Turkmen town from IS, in response to pressure over the involvement of Shia militias in the operation.
2 min read
05 November, 2016
Abadi has confirmed that he will be personally co-ordinating operations in the region [Twitter]

Iraqi armed forces have been sent to Tel Afar to relieve Shia militias and take the town from Islamic State group fighters.

Shia militias from then Popular Mobilisation Forces launched a mission to take the town, located to the west of Mosul, from IS on Monday.

However, following international concern about the move and threats from Turkey it could intervene, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi forbade the group from launching the final attack.

It has been reported that the town elders asked Abadi personally not to allow the Shia fighters to enter the mostly Sunni Turkmen town.

"Only uniformed services will be allowed to enter Tal Afar for fear of repeating what happened in previous years," a spokesperson for the Iraqi premier said.

This referred to allegations that Shia militias had murdered civilians in territories populated by Sunnis recaptured from IS over the past.

The Iraqi MP for Mosul, Izz el-Din el-Dawla, told reporters that town elders had asked him to inform Abadi they would not allow the Shia fighters to enter their town.

Translation: Najim al-Jubouri - Iraqi army forces are going into Tal Afar and Abadi will oversee operations

Major General Najim al-Jubouri, the military commander for the army mission to the west of Mosul, named the "Nineveh Operations", confirmed the plans in a press conference this morning.

Turkey sent a large number of armed forces to the Iraqi border on 1 November after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would not accept a Shia attack on the Turkmen town of Tel Afar.

Tensions between the two crountries have grown even stronger as a result as the leaders of both countries exchanged barbs.