The Popular Mobilization Units, a coalition of mostly Shi’ite militias has announced it aims to clear a large strip of land on the border with Syria to prevent the militants melting into the remote desert region and using it as a base for counter attacks in Iraq, a spokesman said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Jafaar Hussaini said the Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of the Shi’ite armed groups, would advance further west to clear the border region where he said the militants had hidden many weapons stores for future use, the report continued.
“The key objective is to … make sure that the terrorists lose the ability to regroup and launch counter attacks against advancing forces,” said Hussaini, speaking by telephone from a desert area near Tal Afar.
“We are targeting full control of the desert areas along the Syrian border,” he said.
60km still separates the militias from the Syrian border.