Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi launched Monday the third phase of the operation against ISIS, dubbed the ‘Will of Victory,’ starting from the eastern province of Diyala to the southern towns located in the northern province of Nineveh.
Security forces have confirmed in successive statements the achievements on the ground in areas targeted by the operation.
The Will of Victory Operation’s first phase had been launched in July and targeted pursuing ISIS elements in western regions.
According to the military data issued from the operation third phase, 13 villages were cleared in areas south of Nineveh.
Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Diyala province announced clearing six villages northern Jalawla district and finding four guest houses belonging to ISIS.
Meanwhile, civil disobedience carried out by people in Nineveh's plain, due to an order issued by Abdul Mahdi to withdraw one of the PMF brigades there, has led to cutting the road between Erbil and Mosul.
Dozens of citizens who pass through this route have appealed to official authorities to open the road.
Abdul Mahdi refused to back down from his decision and called on Nineveh’s governor to extend security throughout the region and comply with the commands.
Former Nineveh province Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi told Asharq Al-Awsat that withdrawing the brigade from Nineveh was done after receiving complaints from the citizens, especially the Christians, about the exploitation of this brigade to serve the Premier’s interest in the region.
“These complaints had an international resonance and has put Iraq under pressure to curb this phenomenon,” Nujaifi stressed.
He explained that this has led to issuing the order to replace it by local police teams, but those benefiting of the presence of this brigade have been inciting their masses to protest this decision.