TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A senior commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) announced that the forces have managed to clear 20 villages in the eastern province of Diyala from Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorists.

– Politics news –

In a statement, Talib al-Mousavi, the commander of the Hashd al-Shaabi’s operation in Diyala code-named “Ashoura”, said the PMU forces started the clean-up operation on Sunday morning.

The operation covers an area of up to 54 square kilometers, he said, adding that about 20 villages in the province were cleared of Daesh and their vehicles and equipment were captured.

According to the commander, the Ashoura operation was carried out with the support of the Iraqi Air Force.

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 a fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive and later forced them to withdraw from the territories they had occupied.

In November 2017, the self-proclaimed caliphate of Daesh collapsed after Syrian and Iraqi armed forces and their allies managed to recapture the terror group’s last strongholds in the two Arab countries.