Nineveh Provincial Council objects to Hashid al-Shaabi in Mosul offensive

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AlQOSH – The Nineveh Provincial Council announced on Monday (Feb.29) that it is opposed to the participation of the People’s Mobilization Units (Hashid al-Shaabi) in the planned offensive to regain Mosul from the Islamic State (IS).
The council gathered in the sub-district of Alqosh north of Mosul. An urgent meeting was held to discuss the participation of Hashid al-Shaabi in the battle for Mosul. The council members attending agreed to an objection of the Shia paramilitaries’ inclusion in the offensive.

Bashar Kiki, The president of the provincial council posting on his official Facebook page said, “The Hashid al-Shaabi forces have committed many violations in the province of Salahadin, Anbar and Diyala and this is why today the majority vote of the council rejects any participation by Hashid al-Shaabi’s forces in the operation to retake Mosul. We support the participation of the Iraqi security forces in the planned offensive.”

He added that there was no tribal or religious bias behind the council’s decision saying, “There are not many people from Nineveh in the Iraqi security forces but we do support them. We have never heard of any violations committed by the Iraqi security forces in the regions they have liberated.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced that Hashid al-Shaabi along with Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga will take part in the offensive to retake the city of Mosul from IS.

Mosul is in the center of the Ninawa Governorate and has been occupied by IS since June 2014. Iraqi authorities are now planning to take back the city from the IS militants.

Hashid al-Shaabi, also known as People’s Mobilization units, is an Iraqi government-backed umbrella organization of mainly Shia armed militias. The group has worked closely with the Iraqi government, supplementing armed personnel in many areas in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and was officially united in June 2014 by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.

Some Sunni Iraqis have accused Hashid al-Shaabi of sectarian motivated violence including abduction and torture according to Amnesty International.