Feb 22, 4:13 AM EST

Iraq's government-sanctioned paramilitaries, mainly Shiite forces, launch push to take IS-held villages west of Mosul

AP Photo
AP Photo/Bram Janssen

Multimedia
Last U.S. combat troop leaves Iraq
Iraqi Election 2010: What's at Stake?
Returning Troops Find Alternative Motivations
U.S. Troop Casualties in Iraq
Related Stories
A new psychological trauma institute is being established at the university of Dohuk in Iraq, the first in the entire region

Iraq's government-sanctioned paramilitaries, mainly Shiite forces, launch push to take IS-held villages west of Mosul

Iraqi forces have launched the push for Mosul's militant-held western half just over four months after the operation to retake the city from the Islamic State group officially began

Iraq says new exploration has revealed an additional 10 billion barrels of oil, bringing its total proven reserves to 153 billion barrels

Iraqi forces have launched the push for Mosul's militant-held western half just over four months after the operation to retake the city from the Islamic State group officially began

Interactive
Iraqi Communities in the U.S.

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's government-sanctioned paramilitary forces, made up mainly of Shiite militiamen, have launched a new push to capture villages west of the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants.

The forces' spokesman, Ahmed al-Asadi, said on Wednesday that the villages are located southwest of the town of Tal Afar, still held by the Islamic State group.

He didn't provide details but the move by the umbrella group of mostly Shiite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces is likely coordinated with government effort to recapture western part of Mosul from IS.

Iraqi government forces this week took a hilltop area overlooking the Mosul city airport.

The Shiite militias already hold a small airport outside Tal Afar, which is s located some 93 miles (150 kilometers) east of the Syrian border.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.