TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, backed by army troops managed to recapture several strategic villages near Sinjar in Nineveh Province from the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group, media reports said on Wednesday.

As part of a massive operation to retake Mosul, the last major stronghold of the Takfiri militants in Iraq, the Iraqi popular forces retook four villages on the outskirts of Sinjar, 110 km northwest of Mosul, the Arabic-language Al Mayadeen TV reported.

The Poplar Mobilization Forces also managed to lay a siege on the town of Tal Afar, 55 km (35 miles) west of Mosul.

In the meantime, after heavy clashes with Daesh terrorists in eastern Mosul, the Iraqi forces entered the embattled city’s al-Sokar neighborhood. 

The Iraqi army backed by Federal Police and Hashd al-Shaabi launched the offensive on October 16 aimed at wresting Mosul from the hands of Daesh.

In recent years, Iraq has been facing the threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the Daesh terrorist group.

Daesh militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large 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 Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive and later forced the Takfiri group to withdraw from most of the areas it had occupied.