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Iraq’s Shi’ite militias say will launch offensive west of Mosul imminently

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A man walks with ships near Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq October 27, 2016.
A man walks with ships near Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq October 27, 2016.

Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’ite paramilitary groups are about to launch an offensive on Islamic State positions west of Mosul, assisting in the military campaign to take back the city, a spokesman said on Friday.

The militias, collectively known as Hashid Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Forces, have completed preparations to move in the direction of Tal Afar, a stronghold of Islamic State west of Mosul, from their positions in Qayyara, south of the city.

“A few days or hours separate us from the launch of operations there,” spokesman Ahmed al-Asadi told state TV, commenting on the plan to capture Tal Afar.

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